The St Columba’s Debate

Scots in London might not have a vote in the forthcoming Scottish Referendum on 18th September but many still want to have their voices heard on the issue of Independence.  That message came over loud and clear on 25th March  when St Columba’s opened it’s doors to almost 500 Scots who were there to take part in The St Columba’s Debate.

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From left Margaret Curran MP, Alistair Carmichael MP, Iain Watson, Tony Banks and Angus Robertson MP

Chaired by the BBC Political Correspondent Iain Watson, the panel included the Secretary of State for Scotland and LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael, Shadow Secretary and Labour MP Margaret Curran, both representing the Better Together campaign and on the opposing side Angus Robertson MP leader of SNP at Westminster along with Scottish businessman Tony Banks supporting the Yes Campaign.

Questions from the floor concentrated very much on the economy with the single most posed question asking why as ex-pat Scots we could not have a vote in the referendum.

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The debate in action

As the debate was in full swing a team of 25 volunteers collected questions from the audience, showed people to their seats, tweeted on our live Twitter feed and generally helped everything to run smoothly.  It was a tremendous team effort.

A number of Lords, MPs and invited guests were invited to comment and draw on their own expertise of areas such as the economy and business.

Lord McFall of Alcuith

Lord McFall of Alcuith 

 

Lord McFall of Alcluith, former Chair of the Treasury Select Committee spoke from the floor as did Lord Steel of Aikwood.

Lord Steel of Aikwood

Lord Steel of Aikwood

Lord Steel, former leader of the Liberal party and first speaker of the Scottish Parliament commented that he had told former Prime Minister John Major to go to Scotland but not if it was “just to bash the Nats”, a quote which became lead story in the Herald.

Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing

Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing

Here are some of the many photos taken of the panel, the guests, the questioners and the helpers.

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