Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 16:33 UK

Minister's talks offer to Calman

Sir Kenneth Calman
The SNP initially refused to deal with Sir Kenneth Calman's commission

A Scottish Government minister has offered to hold talks with the man leading a review of devolution.

A meeting between constitution minister Mike Russell and Sir Kenneth Calman is expected to take place next month.

Last month Sir Kenneth said the SNP had no right to criticise if it did not get involved with his commission's work.

A spokesman for Mr Russell said there was no softening of attitude towards the commission, which will not consider full independence as part of its remit.

Holyrood ministers initially refused to deal with the Calman Commission.

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

The Scottish Government is holding its own "national conversation" on Scotland's constitutional future.

A spokesman said: "Clearly the government position remains that the Calman Commission is exclusive and has a narrow remit by excluding independence, which is the preferred constitutional option for this government.

"But Michael Russell believes it will be a useful exercise to meet Sir Kenneth and put forward the Scottish Government views and provide as much information as possible on the National Conversation."

The commission - which was voted into being by the unionist parties at the Scottish Parliament - is due to deliver its final report later this year.

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