Labour blasts Salmond over referendum consultation
Politician claims Salmond ‘trying to rig referendum’
THE Scottish Government has been challenged by Labour to rip up its referendum consultation and start again.
The call came after Government strategy minister Bruce Crawford said “all responses will be accepted” to the Your Scotland, Your Referendum consultation, including those from people who keep their identity a secret.
It means individuals and organisations can submit multiple responses.
The SNP, however, have said every response will be independently verified when the consultation closes next month.
Anas Sarwar, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party has accused the SNP of trying to “rig” the referendum, which the Government intends to hold in autumn 2014.
He called on First Minister Alex Salmond to hold a “proper” consultation that the public can have confidence in.
He said: “Everyone knows that Alex Salmond desperately wants a second question on the ballot and now he has left the door open for his army of Cyber-Nats to deliver the response he wants.
“By essentially inviting people to send multiple responses, Alex Salmond has done nothing to dispel the notion that he is trying to rig the referendum.”
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This revelation compounds that serious concern and gives an opportunity for every nationalist to make multiple submissions.”
However, the SNP’s chief whip Stewart Hosie said the rules for the consultation were “exactly the same” as the one held by Labour on the smoking ban in 2004, as well as the 2006 Tourism Bill consultation.
Mr Hosie said: “I think the bottom line here is this is absurd in the extreme from the Labour Party. The rules being used are exactly the same rules that have been used in every single other consultation.”