Lord Forsyth and Barnett
Interesting to see that (perhaps) the last Conservative Scottish Secretary, Lord Forsyth, has stuck his head above the parapet and called on the prime minister-t0-be, Gordon Brown, to scrap the so-called Barnett formula and replace it with a needs-based assessment of expenditure throughout the United Kingdom. Otherwise, he said, Brown risked feeding the 'worm of separatism which is growing at the heart of the Union'.
Lord Forsyth, who as Michael Forsyth was Scottish Secretary from 1995-97, made his remarks at a dinner on Thursday evening to celebrate the three-hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Union. Henry McLeish, the former Scottish Office minister and First Minister, has since waded into the debate, and accused Westminster of picking fights with the SNP in Edinburgh, as opposed to the other way round.
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