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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 March, 2005, 18:35 GMT
SNP chief Salmond rounds on Brown
The party leader launched a stinging attack on the Chancellor
Nationalist leader Alex Salmond has launched a bitter attack on Chancellor Gordon Brown in a speech at the party's conference in Dundee.

He claimed Mr Brown was willing to "sell out Scotland" to help the UK and his own political ends.

Mr Salmond accused the chancellor of robbing people of their pensions while funding the war in Iraq.

He also said every family in Scotland has been touched by the experience of emigration.

The party chief insisted that Scotland's declining population is a problem affecting every family in the country.

He told delegates more must be done to encourage young people to stay. The Scottish National Party would introduce a 2,000 first time buyers grant to help people get on the property ladder.

Only independence can allow Scotland to protect ourselves
Alex Salmond MP
SNP leader

He said also that during Gordon's Brown time at the Treasury, older Scots had to endure the indignity of a means test to get a decent pension.

"Brown is prudent with pensioners and profligate with wars. He's out to get the big job, but has forgotten the people back home," Mr Salmond told party faithful.

He added: "The chancellor, this Scottish hero, has covered himself in glory at the Treasury while Scottish pensioners are covered in poverty.

"Gordon Brown will sell out Scotland if it helps out Britain. He wants to be the next prime minister of Britain, I want to be the first prime minister of an independent Scotland."

Mr Salmond continued: "Devolution can't protect Scotland from the arrogance of this prime minister.

"It doesn't protect Scotland full stop. Only the SNP can protect Scotland and only independence can allow Scotland to protect ourselves."

He told activists at the pre-election gathering that devolution will not protect Scotland from Labour or Tory spending cuts, or ID cards, or nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Hear Alex Salmond give his speech

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