[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 22:23 GMT
Lib Dem leader rules out SNP deal
Nicol Stephen
Nicol Stephen rejected the idea of an independence referendum
The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has ruled out a pact with the SNP over a referendum on independence.

Nicol Stephen, deputy first minister in the current Scottish Executive, said such a referendum would prevent any possible coalition deal with the SNP.

His comments echoed those made by the UK Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell at the weekend.

Mr Stephen said he wanted greater powers for the Scottish Parliament in transport, energy and broadcasting.

He added that he believed the Liberal Democrats could conceivably be the largest single party at Holyrood after May's elections.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats currently have 17 of the 129 MSPs at Holyrood.

Labour, their partners in the coalition executive, have 50 MSPs and the SNP have 25.

The Scottish Conservatives have 17 MSPs.


SEE ALSO
Labour attacks SNP over tax plans
05 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Divisions rage despite the Union
26 Dec 06 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific