Referendums BBC Devolution Scotland Wales

Referendum Campaign Is Suspended As A Mark Of Respect

Hague: "politicians should pull together."
The Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar and the Conservative leader Willam Hague have both made announcements suspending campaigning for the Scottish referendum on home rule.

William Hague today called off his visit to Scotland and suspended campaigning for the devolution referendums, as a mark of respect following the death of the Princess of Wales.

Mr Hague had been planning to travel to Scotland to campaign for a double No vote in September's referendum.

He said, "It's at times like this when politicians should pull together and sink our differences for a while. I think the whole nation is united in sadness and politicians should lead and respect that."

Mr Hague had not consulted other political parties about his decision, but the Scottish Secretary formally suspended Labour's Scottish devolution campaign, and Welsh Secretary Ron Davies called off Labour's campaign in Wales.

Mr Dewar said, "In the sad and tragic circumstances of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Scottish Labour Party has suspended camapigning on the referendum. The situation will be reviewed when the arrangements for the funeral and related matters have been clarified." The campaign is unlikely to resume before the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

There has been speculation that the Scottish referendum, which is due to take place on 11th September, could be postponed to allow a full campaign after a period of public mourning. This would require the recall of Parliament to alter the Referendums Act.

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