“There is no one on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, apart from Eilidh Whiteford [SNP MP for Banff and Buchan] that has a mandate to say anything about a referendum, apart from the fact that they are opposed to it. The only ones with a mandate to say or do anything are the ones sitting in the Scottish Parliament.” - Alex Salmond.
I think that's a genuine quote from the First Minister reproduced this morning in the Scottish edition of the Daily Telegraph, itself culled from a Holyrood magazine interview.
Salmond was responding to the idea that the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee is to launch an investigation into his plans for three-question "yes, no, mubee" referendum and the practicalities of what the SNP actually means by an independent Scotland.
It's quite some statement to claim that only signed up SNP MPs, and presumably MSPs, have a right or a mandate to say anything about the political future of Scotland.
It's quite staggering how the First Minister continues to be relatively unchallenged on that presumption too. Come on Mr Salmond, it's our country too, don't forget that.
You don't have to dig too deep to get at what the SNP leader is signalling with his get your Westminster scooters off my lawn rant ahead of his party conference this weekend.
The thing a dominant SNP fears most is a Westminster-organised referendum with a simple Yes or No to the nation, an idea which is gathering momentum across the other parties. He'd lose that one.
YouGov/Times – CON 43, LAB 25, LD 11, UKIP 10
15 hours ago