In full: Nick Clegg’s and Michael Moore’s exchange of letters

As we reported earlier, Michael Moore is to leave Government and will be replaced as Scottish Secretary by Alistair Carmichael.

When a Minister leaves office, there is always an exchange of letters between them and their party leader. Here is the exchange between Mike and Nick Clegg:

Nick Clegg’s letter to Mike Moore:

Dear Mike

I want to thank you for the vital role you have played as Secretary of State for Scotland over the past three years.

You became Scottish Secretary in 2010 at a critical time in Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom and you have managed the challenges of the situation with great skill and effectiveness.

Not only have you successfully piloted through legislation to enable Scotland to take a major step towards the party’s long held goal of ‘Home Rule’. but you have also ensured that the referendum next year will give the Scottish people a clear and decisive question on which to cast their vote.

It should be recognised that you secured both the Scotland Act and the Edinburgh Agreement in the context of a majority SNP government at Holyrood, and against a backdrop of an external political narrative that often suggested the legislation would fail and a referendum agreement could not be secured. You have achieved all of this while working ceaselessly for the interests of the Scottish people within the United Kingdom.

As we discussed when we spoke on Friday, I believe we now need to draw on different experience in the final year running up to the referendum itself and I am keen that just as we have benefited from your formidable skills over the past three years that we take advantage of other experience within our ranks during this period.

I am immensely grateful for all the work you have done at the Scotland Office and for the very significant contribution you have made to the first coalition government in 70 years. I have no doubt that there will be an opportunity for your talents to be deployed in government in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Clegg

Mike Moore’s reply

Dear Nick

Thank you for your letter.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the cabinet. Putting Liberal Democrat policies into practice in government has been our party’s ambition for a very long time and I have valued the chance to play a key role in it.

This has been, and will continue to be, a hugely important time in Scottish politics and that has made it a challenging and rewarding time to be Secretary of State for Scotland. Taking the Scotland Act through Parliament and negotiating the Edinburgh Agreement have been the highlights of my time in office, as well as, more recently, making the case for Scotland to stay part of the United Kingdom.

However, I have also valued the chance to get out and about around Scotland week after week to listen to the challenges facing people and make sure those are understood by colleagues elsewhere in government. I am glad that there are now early signs of economic recovery, but we must not lose sight of the huge difficulties many people still face.

Over the last few years I have worked with a superb team of civil servants and advisers in the Scotland Office, and other government departments, in very challenging circumstances. I do not think the support teams for ministers always get the credit they deserve: I am very grateful for the support they have given me.

In leaving the Scotland Office I am pleased that Alistair will be succeeding me. As a good friend and long time colleague, I believe he will do a superb job. I wish him all the best.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Moore

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3 Comments

  • All very polite and for public consumption, obviously, though entirely in character for Mike Moore aka Mr Reasonable. I am sure there is some truth in every sentence. But it seems unlikely that it is the full story.
    I hope that Ali Carmichael does not resort to a public slanging match with Alex Salmond over the next year, as some commentators are already suggesting he might (see his rather overwrought indignation to Salmond’s ‘case against Scotland’ comment a month or so ago), or we might end up having to kiss Scotland goodbye.
    There is something to be said for Lib Dems being more publicly robust (cf the Webb and Lamb piece on here – apparently they ‘instinctively believe’ believe stuff is wrong, but do precious little to challenge it robustly in public, however effective they are behind the scenes. And cf Huhne, who can still make a front page – albeit in the Guardian – as a convicted man) , but let’s ensure the campaign does not resort to being unreasonable in it’s pro-Unionist stance.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 7th Oct '13 - 3:37pm

    Why do they bother with these stupid letters – do they really think anyone is taken in.

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