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Labour: we want assurances that SNP will not use majority to push through interim written constitution if Yes vote

Labour has sought assurances that the SNP will not use its majority to push through an interim written constitution if Scotland votes for independence.

Earlier this week, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that a draft Scottish Independence Bill will be published for consultation before Holyrood's summer recess.

The Bill includes an interim written constitution setting out the foundations of an independent Scotland, which would come into effect on the first day of independence in 2016.

Speaking at First Minister's Questions in Holyrood, Alex Salmond said the Bill would create a "constitutional platform" and "place a duty" on the first Scottish Parliament - to be elected in May 2016 - to set up an inclusive convention to write a permanent constitution.

Labour's Drew Smith asked Mr Salmond if he would "confirm an interim constitution Bill wouldn't be introduced in the Parliament until the people have their say in September, and would he comment on whether or not it would be appropriate for the Scottish Government simply to use its majority to pass such a Bill?"

Mr Salmond replied: "Of course it wouldn't. What we are publishing is a draft for consultation."

Green Party leader Patrick Harvie called on Mr Salmond to involve the public in the drafting of the constitution as soon as there is a Yes vote rather than waiting until the first parliament is elected in 2016.

"A Yes vote should be an immediate opportunity to re-engage and reconnect with voters who've felt frozen out of politics, and also to allay the concerns of those who voted No. We should capitalise on the energy and ideas being generated by the independence debate, rather than wait until after the elections in 2016," he said.

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