DOWNING Street is increasing its focus on Scotland with the appointment of two key members of staff who will help co-ordinate policy towards Scottish matters across Whitehall, particularly in the run-up to the independence referendum campaign.

Christine Jardine, a former writer with The Herald and an ex-Liberal Democrat candidate in Scotland, has been taken on by the Prime Minister as a special adviser to liaise between No 10 and the Scotland Office. Allan Ross, a civil servant, is to manage Scottish matters at an official level within Downing Street.

A senior Whitehall source told The Herald: “This confirms that we understand we have to make sure that the Scotland situation is properly focused.

“It’s important to make sure all parts of government are tied together and that there is proper communication across departments, especially with the campaign ahead.”

Two weeks ago, the so-called “quad” – David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne and his deputy Danny Alexander – met for the first time to discuss Scotland. It was suggested there would be more UK Government ministers travelling north of the Border in the future to promote the United Kingdom.

Last week, David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary in charge of tax, launched a strong attack on Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney’s proposal for the devolution of corporation tax to Holyrood. This was being portrayed from within Whitehall as a sign Coalition ministers would begin to exert more pressure on their Edinburgh counterparts with regards to policy detail.