British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday rejected some of the core demands put forward by the Scottish National Party (SNP), after holding talks with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over increasing powers for the Scottish parliament, a media report said.
It was the first meeting of the prime minister and Sturgeon since the May 7 general elections, where Cameron’s Conservative party won an overall majority in the House of Commons and the SNP won 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland.
Cameron also ruled out granting Scotland a second independence referendum, according to Mail Online. He, however, agreed to consider further devolution of powers to Scotland, but not until the package of measures already agreed upon had been delivered, the report added.
Sturgeon held talks with Cameron in her official residence at Bute House, Edinburgh. She has been demanding new powers above and beyond what was agreed on by the Smith Commission, which was set up to propose further devolution of powers to the Scottish parliament after last year’s independence referendum.
Under the proposals, agreed by the SNP and all the major Westminster parties, the Scottish parliament will be given more control over tax and spending but not full fiscal autonomy.
Earlier, Sturgeon had said the overwhelming mandate given to the SNP in the general election “means that it simply cannot be business as usual when it comes to Westminster’s attitude to Scotland — whether on public spending or on more powers for Scotland”.
Emerging from the talks, Cameron promised a closer working relationship between the Scottish and British governments.