Miliband backs Cameron's Scottish intervention

Labour leader says he supports Cameron's call for an early referendum on independence.

Since becoming Labour leader, Ed Miliband has said little about Scottish politics, despite the reality that his party has the most to lose from an independent Scotland. But in the Q&A session following his speech to London Citizens, he was finally forced to address the subject.

Miliband said that he supported David Cameron's decision to call for an early referendum on independence and called for "greater clarity about the legal position, what is actually going to happen and when it's going to happen." He also made an impressive and extensive defence of the Union, referring to the "sense of solidarity that exists across the border" and to shared institutions such as the NHS and the BBC.

It now seems likely that Alex Salmond will simply ignore the two party leaders and proceed with his original plan to hold an advisory referendum (the Scottish Parliament has no legal right to hold a binding one) in 2014 in the hope of securing a clear mandate to negotiate for independence. But Cameron's intervention has at least succeeded in focusing attention on an issue that has often seemed too distant from our MPs' minds. Miliband promised that "lots of prominent people" from Labour, "including me", would join the fight to save the Union. Given that Labour would lose 41 seats from independence, while the Tories would lose one, he had better live up to his word.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Britain's largest communications union to affiliate to Momentum

The CWU, one of Corbyn's earliest backers, will formally affliate to the organisation.

One of Labour’s largest trade unions is set to affiliate to Momentum after the ruling executive of the Communications Workers Union voted unanimously to join the organisation.

The CWU, Britain’s largest communications union and the fifth largest affiliate to Labour, was one of the earliest backers of Jeremy Corbyn. 

Dave Ward, the union’s general secretary, told the New Statesman that “the general election showed the value of Momentum as part of the wider labour movement”, and that the body, which emerged out of Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign, was now “a major political force in the UK”, saying it had a  “key role to play in securing a transformative Labour government”.

The NEC’s vote will now go to a ratifying vote by the CWU’s annual conference. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.