+++ Carmichael replaces Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland

From the BBC:

Michael Moore has been sacked as Secretary of State for Scotland and replaced by Alistair Carmichael, another senior Liberal Democrat.

The move comes as a reshuffle of Conservative and Lib Dem ministers in the coalition government is under way.

Mr Moore was a leading figure in the No campaign ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence next September.

Moore had been Secretary of State since he replaced Danny Alexander at the end of May 2010.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie praised Mike Moore’s achievements and welcomed Alistair Carmichael’s appointment. He said:

Mike Moore is leaving on a high after three very good years as Scottish Secretary. He persuaded the nationalist Government to approve the Scotland Act they previously condemned as a poison pill.  Against the odds he secured an agreement with the nationalists on the conduct of the referendum.  Mike Moore repeatedly outwitted Alex Salmond.

As we move to the next stage of the campaign I am looking forward to working with Alistair Carmichael. His feisty style combined with his charm, wit and intelligence is just what we need for the last twelve months in our efforts to safeguard our partnership with the rest of the United Kingdom.

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  • Moore was good at doing the normal SoS job; Carmichael the good natured hard man?

  • Angry about how this has played out. Two Tories have been able to ‘resign’ with an edge of respect, but all over the news is that Michael has been sacked. He deserved to leave post with much more dignity after doing an excellent job.

    Also, it plays into the nationalists hands – the headlines read as if Michael was useless and had to go. Poor communications handling.

  • If they’re replacing Michael Moore because he wasn’t aggressive enough in challenging the SNP, I think that’s a mistake. Things are already in exactly the right place (and even heading further that way) for Better Together to win its argument resoundingly next year.

    What we need is a calm, thoughtful and respectful debate. I’m sure that’s the approach to which Scots will warm.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yet seemingly they have decided it needed fixing, nonetheless.

  • Getting rid of the Scotland Office is a “job waiting to be done”, says Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael.

    “As tensions between Westminster and Holyrood grow, the Scotland Office appears to be more concerned with hosting soirées than communicating with Edinburgh.
    “Employing twenty staff to write an average of two official letters each year is indefensible.
    “The Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Offices should merge to create a Department for Nations and Regions, with a full time seat at the Cabinet table.”

  • Three posts on this issue, and none on what is arguably the most important Liberal Democrat news of the day.

    One is bound to wonder if this sudden sacking has been conjured to distract Lib Dems from the revelation that even Liberal Democrat Cabinet Ministers in the National Security Council were not aware of the extent of Government surveillance.

    Or perhaps it is no longer fashionable to read the Guardian in these parts?

  • Peter Andrews 7th Oct '13 - 6:00pm

    I thought Michael Moore was doing an excellent job as Scottish Secretary and I am very surprised by this move

  • Leekliberal 8th Oct '13 - 11:24am

    @Peter Andrews – Me too!

  • David Evans 8th Oct '13 - 3:24pm

    Very badly handled. It almost seems vindictive.

  • Simon Banks 8th Oct '13 - 5:04pm

    If he has indeed been sacked, I am amazed and shocked. I’m viewing this from outside Scotland, but his mixture of calm good sense and depth seemed excellent to me. I agree that the timing is extraordinary and a gift to the SNP, both because Michael’s qualities will be lost (no disrespect intended to Alistair) and because it can be seen as a respected Scot being sacked by the decision of an English politician. Frankly, Michael Moore has qualities, especially the way he can deploy and express depth of feeling, that would be welcome in the leadership.

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