Johann Lamont MSP, Scottish Labour leader, said in response to Alex Salmond’s speech at the Hugo Young Lecture this evening:
"No matter how often he tries to assert and impose his views on people, Alex Salmond does not speak for Scotland on the issue of independence. He can say it as many times as he likes but it doesn't make it true.
"We need to have a mature debate about how and where power should be devolved and whether it is in Scotland’s interests to stay in the union
"I am confident that the majority of people both sides of the border agree with me that we are stronger together."
On an independent Scotland being a beacon of light for the rest of the UK, Johann Lamont said:
"Not content with his mission to ‘free’ Scotland from England, it appears Alex Salmond is now advising how to liberate the English people from themselves.
"Rather than trying to set a progressive example for others, Alex Salmond could start by implementing some progressive ideas here that would deal with the rising level of child poverty and the 200 people a day losing their jobs.
"The future of the United Kingdom is about more than David Cameron versus Alex Salmond and conservatism versus nationalism."