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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Chancellor congratulates Salmond
Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown talked about jobs with Mr Salmond
Chancellor Gordon Brown has phoned Alex Salmond to congratulate him on becoming first minister of Scotland.

The Labour prime minister-in-waiting made the call four weeks after the SNP emerged as the largest party in the Holyrood election.

The first minister's office described their discussions as "constructive" and "friendly".

Mr Salmond said on Thursday that he had not received a congratulatory call from the current premier, Tony Blair.

On Friday, Mr Brown said: "I spoke to him this morning and said 'well done for becoming first minister', but of course our conversation is about what we can do for jobs."

Mr Salmond, who had previously been called by Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander after his appointment, joked during First Minister's Questions Time that Mr Blair had not contacted him.

We both agreed the interests of Scotland were more important than any political differences, and will work towards those ends
Alex Salmond MSP
First minister

"He never phones, he never writes," said Mr Salmond.

Mr Blair's silence in particular was criticised by former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish, who said there was a danger that Scots would see it as a snub to the Scottish Parliament and devolution.

"Alex Salmond is the elected leader of the Scottish Parliament, he represents in parliament, of his own party, nearly 700,000 people and of course is the first minister of Scotland," Mr McLeish told BBC radio's Good Morning Scotland programme.

"So even though you have difficulties with the personality, you should respect the position."

Alex Salmond
The call between the two politicians lasted for 10 minutes

During the 10-minute call between the chancellor and Mr Salmond, a low-emission power station project planned for Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and other aspects of "carbon capture" were discussed.

Oil giant BP has pulled out of the Peterhead project complaining of UK Government foot-dragging, but Mr Salmond is hoping to persuade Westminster to resurrect the project.

Mr Salmond said later: "I had a constructive and friendly call from Gordon Brown.

"We will have more detailed contact on other matters when Gordon Brown becomes prime minister.

"We both agreed the interests of Scotland were more important than any political differences, and will work towards those ends."




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