Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 16:42 UK

Calman warning to SNP government

Sir Kenneth Calman
Sir Kenneth said he would publish his final report this year

The head of the commission on Scottish devolution has said the SNP had no right to criticise if it did not get involved with the body's work.

Sir Kenneth Calman said he wanted the Scottish Government to help with the process, but said: "If you don't vote - you shouldn't criticise the outcome."

Holyrood ministers initially refused to deal with the Calman Commission, as it had ruled out looking at independence.

But they have since made a submission to the body, on borrowing powers.

However, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has not appeared before one of its evidence sessions.

You can hardly expect me to go in arguing for Scottish independence when that's been scored off the Calman Commission remit
Alex Salmond
First minister of Scotland

The commission, voted into being at the Scottish Parliament by the unionist parties - Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats - is due to deliver its final report this year, after receiving hundreds of submissions and questioning a series of witnesses.

Sir Kenneth told BBC Scotland's Politics Show: "We'll be covering what's happening in the Scottish Parliament, how it works, the function side of things, the inter-government relations, raising money, how should it be done - and it's up to the Scottish Government whether it wishes to help with that.

"If it doesn't wish to help with that process - and we would like it to help - then it will be quite difficult for them to criticise at the end. If you don't vote - you shouldn't criticise the outcome."

Mr Salmond - whose government is conducting its own review of Scotland's constitutional future, the national conversation, pointed out the Welsh finance commission was considering independence.

He said: "You can hardly expect me to go in arguing for Scottish independence when that's been scored off the Calman Commission remit."

The Scottish Government's submission to the commission, which argued that giving Scotland powers to borrow money would be a "significant step forward" for devolution, was part of the deal struck with the Lib Dems to win the party's backing for the Scottish budget.



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