Scottish independence: Cameron defends indyref poll stance

Yes or no The referendum on Scottish independence will be held on 18 September

The prime minister has defended the decision not to publish an independence referendum poll that was commissioned by the UK government.

David Cameron told BBC Scotland the government did not routinely publish its opinion research.

But he said the findings of the government's polls were largely in line with other recently published polls.

Nationalists have said the government buried the survey as it showed a surge in support for independence.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil said in the Commons on Tuesday that the government poll was commissioned from Ipsos/Mori at a cost to the taxpayer of almost £50,000.

Start Quote

There is nothing in the polls we produce that is any different to any of the published polls”

End Quote David Cameron Prime minister

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, Mr Cameron said: "We don't routinely publish our polls.

"I am sure the Scottish government carries out opinion research - every government carries out opinion research because it is good in government to know what the people you are trying to represent and work for are thinking, so it is a very sensible thing to do.

Start Quote

Westminster have buried the poll and they have every intention of keeping the results from the Scottish public”

End Quote Linda Fabiani SNP MSP

"I can tell you exclusively on this programme there is nothing in the polls we produce that is any different to any of the published polls, and by heavens there have been enough published polls to last a lifetime."

The prime minister was asked by presenter Jim Naughtie to clarify whether he meant that the government's own private polling was roughly in line with the figures that most of the opinion polls published in the past couple of months were clustering around.

Mr Cameron replied: "Absolutely. There is a range of polls out there, there is a poll on every aspect of this, and they have tended to show that the Better Together campaign is winning the argument but there is a very important fight and absolutely no complacency in the months ahead".

The majority of opinion polls published in recent weeks have suggested the "Yes" campaign has gained ground on, but still trails, the "No" campaign.

Responding to Mr Cameron's comments, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said the prime minister had "confirmed what we all suspected" and repeated the party's call for the poll to be published "as a matter of urgency".

She added: "Westminster have buried the poll and they have every intention of keeping the results from the Scottish public.

"No campaign bosses have already let slip that they have seen information from the secret poll - by sharing this information the Westminster government is clearly abusing £46,500 of taxpayers' cash.

"This is completely unacceptable - if the UK government can share this information with the No camp there is no reason why they cannot share it with the Scottish taxpayers that paid for it."

The existence of the government survey was revealed in a letter under the name Kelly Brown that was sent to the Sunday Herald newspaper.

The letter's author claimed to work for Ipsos/Mori, and said the results of the poll had been "buried as it returned a result which showed the Yes vote was soaring".

Ipsos/Mori has said that it does not employ anyone with the name Kelly Brown.

Voters will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country" in the referendum on 18 September.

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Scotland Live

  1.  
    09:22: The morning papers

    With less than three weeks to go until the big vote, the referendum continues to dominate most of this morning's papers.

    The Herald reports that David Cameron's visit to Scotland to rally the "No" campaign has backfired after business leaders delivered a public rebuke over his plan to hold a referendum on EU membership.

    compo

    The Scottish Daily Mail, meanwhile, highlights the results of a poll indicating an increase in support for the "Yes" campaign.

    Elsewhere, the Scottish Sun leads on Alex Salmond calling in police after a road rage "maniac" chased his official car, while waving a homemade "No" sign.

    You can see all the front pages. here.

     
  2.  
    09:18: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    In Aberdeenshire, a car has hit a house on the A92 near Stonehaven. The road is closed at the URAS crossroads with police directing traffic.

    There are still significant delays in and around Haymarket after a bus and tram collided. Commuters are advised to avoid the area if possible.

     
  3.  
    09:13: Rangers share issue

    Rangers have announced plans to try to raise £4m via an "open offer" with new shares being made available for purchase to existing shareholders.

    Ibrox stadium

    The club told the Stock Exchange they hope the funding will help "re-build and re-establish Rangers as a stable, sustainable and successful business".

    An attempt to raise £10m from city investors proved unsuccessful.

    Rangers say more money will need to be raised "in order to meet working capital requirements".

     
  4.  
    09:04:

    Renfrewshire Council tweets: Mary Russell school is now going to be open today. Apologies to parents for any confusion

     
  5.  
    08:58: Weather forecast Christopher Blanchett BBC Weather presenter

    A cloudy and dull day to come. There will be showers throughout the day and these will band together for more prolonged periods of rain through the central belt and Tayside.

    The south of the country will see the best of the weather with some sunny spells.

    Temperatures will hit around 19C in the south and between 15C and 17C elsewhere.

    You can watch a full forecast here.

     
  6.  
    Morning Call 08:50: BBC Radio Scotland

    On today's Morning Call, Kaye Adams will be joined by First Minister Alex Salmond as he answers your questions on Scottish independence ahead of the 18 September poll.

    Alex Salmond on Morning Call

    You can ask your question by calling 0500 92 95 00, texting 80295 or emailing. The lines are open now.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  7.  
    08:45:

    Jen McKay tweets: Tram and bus collision shandwick place #Edinburgh. Surprised it hadn't happened sooner!!

    tram bus collision
     
  8.  
    08:39: Tram/bus collision

    Simon Cunnick sent this photo of the collision in West Maitland Street in Edinburgh between a tram and a bus this morning at 07:44. No-one was injured. Arrangements are under way to move the tram. There are delays around Haymarket.

    Edinburgh crash
     
  9.  
    08:34:

    Renfrewshire Council (@RenCouncilNews) tweets: Mary Russell School is closed today (Friday) while a suspected gas leak is being investigated.

     
  10.  
    08:31: Salmond on Europe

    First Minister Alex Salmond told BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme the Scottish referendum on independence was very different to the referendum on European Union membership promised by Prime Minister David Cameron. if he wins the next general election.

    Mr Salmond said: "Generally speaking, and I'm not saying this is a universal law, you hold a referendum if you are looking for the wishes of the people, the assent of something you want to do.

    "You don't hold a referendum normally for something you don't want to do. That's the ridiculous position that David Cameron has now got himself into.

    "Whether you regard that as a humiliation, as the front page of the Herald says today, or just deeply misguided, from a Scottish perspective is neither here nor there. Because the debate in Scotland is that we should not place ourselves in the situation of potentially being dragged out of the European Union against our wishes, against our will, which might be the position if we are foolish enough to have a No vote in this referendum."

     
  11.  
    08:23: Tram/bus collision

    Police in Edinburgh say no-one was hurt in the collision between a tram and a bus in West Maitland Street in Edinburgh at about 07:45. The tram was not derailed and arrangements are being made to move it, police said. They were both travelling citybound towards Princes Street. Expect delays.

     
  12.  
    08:19: Tram/bus collision

    EdinburghTravelNews @edintravel tweets: Haymarket RTC - citybound delays Dalry Road and Haymarket Terrace. Southbound Palmerston Place blocked at W Maitland Street #edintravel

     
  13.  
    08:18: Tram/bus collision

    EdinburghTravelNews (@edintravel) tweets: Haymarket - tram / bus collision at Palmerston Place junction. Citybound traffic affected, expect delays. More info as we get it #edintravel

     
  14.  
    Travel update 08:14: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    An accident has closed one lane on the M876 northbound between Junction 7 at Kinnaird House and Junction 3 at the Bowtrees roundabout.

    There's also been an accident on the M77 at Junction 4 at Crookfur Road up to the Glasgow M8 fork which is causing congestion.

    In Glasgow, lights are out at Sauchiehall Street which is causing major delays.

     
  15.  
    08:06: Murray through

    Overnight Andy Murray made short work of German qualifier Matthias Bachinger in a windy night session at the US Open.

    andy murray

    He had too much class for the world number 235, winning 6-3 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round.

     
  16.  
    08:04: Christopher Blanchett BBC Weather presenter

    Good morning. A cloudy, wet & breezy start for many. Staying unsettled through the day with rain at times. Brightest in the south east and north west.

     
  17.  
    08:02: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Slow to steady on the M80 junctions 4-7 both ways - wet conditions adding to that. In fact, the M80 generally looks a bit murky

     
  18.  
    08:00: Steven Brocklehurst BBC Scotland news website

    Morning. It's a bit dreich in Glasgow this morning. We'll be bringing you all the news from across Scotland, along with travel, weather and sport throughout the day.

     

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