Starmer and Swinney to work together on ‘common ground’

by | Jul 7, 2024 | Politics

2 hours agoBy Claire Diamond, BBC Scotland NewsPA MediaPrime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has met First Minister John Swinney for the first time since Labour’s landslide election win.Speaking after their meeting, the prime minister said his new government “got a clear mandate for change” in the election, and one of the things that needed to “reset” was the relationship between the Scottish and UK government. “We are of a joint view that we can work constructively together,” he said. The new PM is touring the United Kingdom, and will next visit Wales and Northern Ireland before meeting mayors in England. Mr Swinney said the pair had agreed to improving the relationship between the Scottish and UK governments, which had been “very poor” under the last Conservative government.They committed to working collaboratively on areas of “common ground”, Mr Swinney said, including growing the economy, delivering net zero and improving public services.Mr Swinney said he hoped Sir Keir was able to “fulfil” his commitment to reset the relationship between Westminster and Holyrood.Sir Keir held a meeting with Mr Swinney at the first minister’s official residence in Edinburgh.The visit comes days after a dramatic upturn of Labour’s fortunes in Scotland.The party now has 37 of Scotland’s 57 MPs – up from just one in 2019 – while the SNP’s tally fell by 39, leaving them with just nine MPs at Westminster. Scottish independence On independence, the prime minister said there were “clearly differences” between them on constitutional issues. Mr Swinney reiterated his support for independence, but acknowledged the SNP had to “reflect” on the result of the election.Asked if the Scottish government still believed it had a mandate for an independence referendum, he said: “The 2021 [Holyrood] election elected a parliament that exists today that’s got a parliamentary majority in favour of the objective of Scottish independence and the delivery of that independence through a referendum. “I think the democratic will of the people of Scotland from that election should be respected.”ReutersPro-Palestinian protesters staged a demonstration outside Bute House, where the meeting was taking place.The leaders had been expected to pose for a picture outside Bute House.However, due to the protest the prime minister entered and left by the back door. Mr Swinney said they did not discuss the issue of Gaza but said the protest showed the “strength of feeling” on the issue.He called for an immediate ceasefire, arms sales to Israel to end and for Palestine to be recognised as an independent state. Before meeting Mr Swinney at Bute House, Sir Keir spoke at an event with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.He said he would govern as “changed Labour”.Sir Keir described the general election victory as part one of his party’s plan, with part two coming when the next Holyrood election takes place in 2026. The prime minister pledged to govern for everyone in Scotland, includ …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn2 hours agoBy Claire Diamond, BBC Scotland NewsPA MediaPrime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has met First Minister John Swinney for the first time since Labour’s landslide election win.Speaking after their meeting, the prime minister said his new government “got a clear mandate for change” in the election, and one of the things that needed to “reset” was the relationship between the Scottish and UK government. “We are of a joint view that we can work constructively together,” he said. The new PM is touring the United Kingdom, and will next visit Wales and Northern Ireland before meeting mayors in England. Mr Swinney said the pair had agreed to improving the relationship between the Scottish and UK governments, which had been “very poor” under the last Conservative government.They committed to working collaboratively on areas of “common ground”, Mr Swinney said, including growing the economy, delivering net zero and improving public services.Mr Swinney said he hoped Sir Keir was able to “fulfil” his commitment to reset the relationship between Westminster and Holyrood.Sir Keir held a meeting with Mr Swinney at the first minister’s official residence in Edinburgh.The visit comes days after a dramatic upturn of Labour’s fortunes in Scotland.The party now has 37 of Scotland’s 57 MPs – up from just one in 2019 – while the SNP’s tally fell by 39, leaving them with just nine MPs at Westminster. Scottish independence On independence, the prime minister said there were “clearly differences” between them on constitutional issues. Mr Swinney reiterated his support for independence, but acknowledged the SNP had to “reflect” on the result of the election.Asked if the Scottish government still believed it had a mandate for an independence referendum, he said: “The 2021 [Holyrood] election elected a parliament that exists today that’s got a parliamentary majority in favour of the objective of Scottish independence and the delivery of that independence through a referendum. “I think the democratic will of the people of Scotland from that election should be respected.”ReutersPro-Palestinian protesters staged a demonstration outside Bute House, where the meeting was taking place.The leaders had been expected to pose for a picture outside Bute House.However, due to the protest the prime minister entered and left by the back door. Mr Swinney said they did not discuss the issue of Gaza but said the protest showed the “strength of feeling” on the issue.He called for an immediate ceasefire, arms sales to Israel to end and for Palestine to be recognised as an independent state. Before meeting Mr Swinney at Bute House, Sir Keir spoke at an event with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.He said he would govern as “changed Labour”.Sir Keir described the general election victory as part one of his party’s plan, with part two coming when the next Holyrood election takes place in 2026. The prime minister pledged to govern for everyone in Scotland, includ …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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