Angus Robertson calls for delay to UK election

Angus Robertson.

The leader of the SNP in Westminster has called for the next UK general election to be postponed so politicians can concentrate on negotiating with Scotland if there is a vote for independence.

Angus Robertson, also the party’s campaign director for the referendum, has been accused of wanting “another year of the Tories” by Labour.

If the Yes campaign wins next September, independence day would be in March 2016, almost a year after the next UK general election is due in May 2015.

It leaves the prospect of Scottish MPs being elected to Westminster for a year then quitting and potentially changing the make up of government as parties in particular Labour would see their number of MPs fall.

Speaking on the Week in Westminster, to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Mr Robertson said: “Will there be a UK general election in 2015?

“That is actually an issue for the UK Government to consider. I think there is a very good case for putting the UK general election back by a year.

“The reason why I say that is because of course a Yes result in Scotland will lead to a very, very intense period of negotiation between the UK Government and the Scottish Government transitioning Scotland from a position within the UK into the EU, Nato, the United Nations and agreeing a whole series of other important measures.

“I think it is going to be very important for decision makers at Westminster to wake up to the consequences of the Yes vote and why it will be in their interests to have a grown-up relationship with the government and the people of Scotland.

“And perhaps being diverted by a general election in the middle of that process is certainly something one should be thinking about.”

Asked if in those circumstances he would sit in the Westminster Parliament, he said: “The consequences of independence are that we don’t need to send elected politicians like myself to London. Hooray. What an improvement.”

Labour shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran said: “The SNP want another year of the Tories.

“Another year of the ‘bedroom tax’, austerity and David Cameron, and if they win they’d rather negotiate with David Cameron than Ed Miliband.”