A letter - Tuesday 3 April 2012 - from Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business Bruce Crawford to Scottish Secretary Michael Moore today, urging Mr Moore to submit responses to the Scotland Office consultation on the independence referendum to external analysis, as the Scottish Government is doing in respect of its consultation.
The text of Bruce Crawford’s letter is as follows -
I am writing with regard to the analysis of the UK Government's consultation on Scotland’s independence referendum, publicised over the weekend, and note that a full summary of results is to be made available shortly.
Can I ask whether the Scotland Office intends to submit its consultation responses, which reportedly number less than 3,000, to independent analysis – as the Scottish Government are doing with ours – and that an independent evaluation will be published?
On Newsnight Scotland last night, a Labour MSP appeared to accept as “true” that submissions from the Labour Party website could account for anything up to half of the responses to the UK Government consultation.
Let me be clear that we encourage such participation in consultations by political parties and other organisations and individuals. However, given the small number of responses to the UK Government consultation – in contrast to the Scottish Government process – this factor makes it even more important that these 3,000 responses are independently analysed, with appropriate break-downs provided, otherwise there will be a lack of confidence in the robustness of the Westminster exercise.