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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 March 2008, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK

Browne says Labour runs Scotland

Des Browne speaking from a lectern
Mr Browne paid tribute to British soldiers serving overseas

The UK government is doing more for Scotland than the Holyrood administration, Scottish Secretary Des Browne has said.

He was speaking at the first Scottish Labour conference since the party lost power to the SNP last May.

"We may be in opposition in the Scottish Parliament but we are still in government in Scotland," he said.

Mr Browne told delegates in Aviemore most new laws put forward by the UK Government impacted on Scotland.

Speaking on the final day of the conference, he said: "Every month we are legislating for Scotland. In crucial areas we are passing the laws that Scots need.

Difference does not justify the destruction of the United Kingdom
Des Browne
Secretary of state for Scotland

"The fact is that we are passing more legislation for Scotland through a Labour government than the minority SNP government are doing at Holyrood."

Mr Browne branded Scottish Government plans to replace council tax with an income-based alternative an attack on hard working families that would give big tax breaks to millionaires who live off their dividends.

And he declared only a dwindling minority supported the SNP's core policy of independence.

Mr Browne acknowledged Scotland was different from Britain's other countries, but added: "Difference does not justify the destruction of the United Kingdom."

"Scottish Labour is back in business, defending hard working Scots from the unfairness of the SNP policies."

Mr Browne, also the UK defence secretary, paid tribute to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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