Struggling Miliband accuses Yes camp of ‘ugly’ tactics

British Labour leader Ed Miliband accused the pro-independence campaign of "ugly" tactics after campaigners hurled abuse at him in chaotic scenes during a visit to Edinburgh yesterday.

Struggling Miliband accuses Yes camp of ‘ugly’ tactics

Mr Miliband was branded an “absolute liar” by protesters when he toured the St James Shopping Centre in what was supposed to be a trip to persuade undecided voters in the final stages of the referendum battle.

Shoppers were trampled and pushed aside as campaigners from both the Yes and the No camps clashed during the walkabout.

Miliband struggled to speak to voters amid the frenzy and the visit was quickly brought to an end.

Among the few members of the public he was able to chat to, one was a visitor to the city and the other declared themselves a Yes supporter.

Miliband told the BBC: “I think we have seen in parts of this campaign an ugly side to it from the Yes campaign.

“I think debates should be conducted in a civilised way, I think that’s very, very important, but I understand that passions run high.

Miliband had intended to use the visit to tell voters that more powers would be transferred to Scotland in the event of a No vote.

He told reporters: “If people vote No, it’s for change and more powers for a stronger Scotland, as well as NHS funding guarantees, and that’s got to be weighed against the big risks of voting Yes.

He added: “I think that the momentum is with the No campaign as people recognise that there is a clear offer of change by voting No.” In a statement released ahead of the visit, Mr Miliband had insisted the desire for political change had been heard in Westminster. He promised that “things will not go back to the way things were” after Thursday and called on Scots to help lead reform of the British state.

“On the other path of Yes is a future of separation and risk, an irreversible decision, a risk to jobs, the economy and the NHS, as we abandon the shared resources and redistribution of our United Kingdom,” he said.

“Scotland has shown why we must and why we will change our whole country. Scotland can lead that change across Britain.”

Others spent the day pushing for a Yes vote. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claims a Yes vote would not break all links between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“I’m the granddaughter of an Englishwoman, I have family in England. We’re going to continue to be part of the family of nations that make up the British Isles. We will work closely and co-operatively with our friends across these islands but we’ll do so on the basis of equality, we’ll do so knowing that we’re responsible for the decisions that shape our future, that we’re responsible for our own money as a country and we can decide the priorities for spending that money.”

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox