Lib Dems open to working with Brown on union review

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The Liberal Democrats have said they are open to working with former prime minister Gordon Brown on the Labour Party commission on the union.

Mr Brown was mooted to advise a constitutional commission last December, but during his speech to the Labour conference on Wednesday, Sir Keir Starmer said he was delighted the former prime minister was leading the review.

After the speech, Lib Dem Scottish affairs spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain said her party would work with Mr Brown on the commission.

“Gordon Brown brings heft to the campaign to stand up for Scotland’s place in the UK and make the case for a reformed UK against the damage caused by the twin nationalisms presented by the Conservatives and the SNP,” she said.

“Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for reforming the whole of the UK with federalism, voting reform and an elected second chamber.

“If Labour are moving it that direction, we’d be happy to discuss that agenda with the former prime minister.”

Mr Brown, who was in Number 10 from 2007 to 2010, has been one of the loudest voices in favour of the union, having a prominent place in the final days of the 2014 independence referendum campaign.

During his speech, Sir Keir said: “As Gordon Brown said recently ‘when a Welsh or a Scottish woman gives blood…she doesn’t demand an assurance it must not go to an English patient’.

“I am delighted that Gordon will lead our commission to settle the future of the union.

“And I know Gordon believes that if you look past the Tories’ pathetic attempts to divide us in a culture war you can glimpse a tolerant, progressive nation of which we can be proud.

“I believe that our diversity is one of the things that makes this country great.”

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