Scottish independence: Chancellor George Osborne denies currency deal claim


Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander says a currency union is "off the table"

Chancellor George Osborne and Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander have insisted it is "wrong" to suggest there would be a currency union between the UK and an independent Scotland.

A Guardian report quotes an unnamed minister who says a deal could be done to allow Scotland to use the pound.

But Mr Osborne and Mr Alexander said "there will not be a currency union".

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the No Campaign was "deeply damaged".

The Guardian quotes a UK government minister who it says would play a central role in the negotiations over the break-up of the UK if there were a yes vote.

It quotes the unnamed minister as saying: "There would be a highly-complex set of negotiations after a yes vote with many moving pieces.

"The UK wants to keep Trident nuclear weapons at Faslane and the Scottish government wants a currency union - you can see the outlines of a deal."

The Treasury, along with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, has previously ruled out a currency union.

Nicola Sturgeon said the UK government's currency stance was a campaign tactic

In a joint statement, George Osborne and Danny Alexander said: "There will not be a currency union in the event of independence. The only way to keep the UK pound is to stay in the UK. Walking out of the UK means walking out of the UK pound.

"A currency union will not work because it would not be in Scotland's interests and would not be in the UK's interests.

"Scotland would have no control over mortgage rates, and would be binding its hands on tax and funding for vital public services."

The statement added: "The Scottish government are proposing to divorce the rest of the UK but want to keep the joint bank account and credit card.

Start Quote

As for the unnamed minister, better stay unnamed. Otherwise, there will be a queue of ministerial colleagues waiting to shake you warmly by the throat.”

End Quote

"The UK would not put its taxpayers at risk of bailing out a foreign country and its banks. Parliament wouldn't pass it, and the people wouldn't accept it.

"Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong."

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "An anonymous, off-the-record quote does not change the stark reality on the currency."

Nicholas Watt, the Guardian journalist who wrote the story, spoke to BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme.

He said: "Their [UK government's] absolute trump card in this campaign is to say there will be no currency union and they will be saying that from now until midnight on the 17th September.

"But in the unlikely event of a Yes vote, in a very lengthy negotiation, you may well find that a trump card in a campaign will come quite different in these negotiations."

Last month, the Chancellor said a vote for Scottish independence would mean walking away from the pound.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond accused him of "bluff and bluster".

The Scottish government, led by Mr Salmond's SNP, has argued that keeping the pound and the services of the Bank of England as part of a currency union under independence made sense for both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

But Mr Osborne's declaration that there would not be a currency union was followed by Mr Alexander and Labour's Ed Balls insisting that they would not agree to share sterling if Scotland voted for independence in September.

Danny Alexander and George Osborne Danny Alexander and George Osborne issued a statement saying there would be no currency union
Pound, money Scotland's currency after independence has become a major issue in the campaign
Nicola Sturgeon Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the UK government's approach was backfiring

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "For all George Osborne and Danny Alexander's frantic denials, by definition this is a story which is impossible to deny - because the story is specifically that everything the UK government and the No campaign are saying on this issue ahead of the referendum is a campaign tactic.

Scotland's independence referendum

Who? Voters in Scotland will go to the polls to vote on their country's future.

What? They will be asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

When? The vote takes place on Thursday, 18 September, 2014.

"The revelation from a Treasury source that everything it has been saying on a currency union has been dictated by Alistair Darling is an extraordinary one, and is deeply damaging to the credibility of the Treasury on this issue.

"What has been exposed is the deep cynicism and negativity at the heart of the No campaign - a campaign which is clearly badly rattled by narrowing polls and which will never be able to mount a truly positive campaign, because negativity is in its DNA."

Voters in Scotland will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" when the independence referendum is held on 18 September.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1146.

    How sad to see Danny Alexander, a Scottish politician, pre-negotiating a worse position for Scotland and the rest of the UK if the people of Scotland vote yes. Liberal values seem to have been lost in this debate and it is a poor reflection of the Liberal Democrats, which I doubt they will recover from. Ironically, his bullying tactics have resulted in increased support for independance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1144.

    The Scottish economy is not in great shape. Look to the huge decline in the latest oil revenue figures. Far too many people here voting on an anti English platform without actually considering how an Independent Scotland would work.Even the SNP, if they were honest!, would concede things are bad. We can't go on past figures, as the SNP do. It's what happens next that counts. We are better together

  • rate this

    Comment number 992.

    The Scots need to understand the full costs of their decision and what would happen if they said Yes. No currency union, no favourable customs arrangement? border controls? visas for entry and visas for working? their share of the UK debt etc. Why should they cause all the disruption, apologise as if to say, we are going back to 1706 and then think they will have a favourable settlement: Crazy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 735.

    I think Scotland can make a go of it, and I hope they do vote yes - the problem with a no vote is the relationship has been too damaged by this - if we stay together it'll either be England's fault Scotland is "held back" or the Scots fault the English are having to subsidise them....

    Better off apart I say.....or I would if I had a vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 695.

    The current right wing coalition has encouraged more Scottish people to consider voting for independence which is a shame. However, if there is a majority vote for Scottish independence, I think it will cause a lot of resentment in England and Wales, where people will be less likely to support Scottish businesses if Scotland becomes an independent country.


Comments 5 of 11


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Glasgow bin lorry crash latest

    @NHS24 'Saddened by events'

    Shocked & saddened by events in #georgesquare Glasgow. A&E very busy but remember NHS24 is here to help if you need support.

    Text us using 80295 George Square - Your Views

    Elizabeth Bell, Glasgow: Such terrible and tragic event, especially at this time of year, thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families. R.I.P. Xx

    19:54: 'Terrible tragedy'

    Glasgow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia: "The circumstances could hardly be more tragic. I would ask any person of faith to pray for those who have died and their relatives and those who have been injured."

    Church of Scotland Moderator John Chalmers: "The news from the city centre of Glasgow just a few days before Christmas is simply devastating. For the second year in a row Glaswegians will have to dig deep into their reserves of compassion and sympathy as they support the families of those who have been killed and injured today."

    Glasgow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

    Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson: "This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, particularly the families of those who have lost their lives."

    Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty: "This is shocking and upsetting. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by this terrible incident."

    19:47: Fatal crash reaction

    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: "My thoughts are with everyone involved in this tragic incident, and especially with the friends and families of the six people who lost their lives in what is another sad day for Glasgow and Scotland."

    Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy: "People in Glasgow and across the whole of Scotland will be mourning this loss of life so close to Christmas. No words will be able to do justice to the pain the families involved will be feeling this evening."

    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson: "This is a terrible tragedy, right in the heart of Scotland's biggest city. No-one expects that ordinary people, out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, would fail to make it home."

    19:42: Reaction to fatal crash

    Prime Minister David Cameron: "I'm being kept fully briefed on the major incident in Glasgow. My thoughts are with the families of those involved and the emergency services."

    Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband

    Labour leader Ed Miliband: "Terrible news from Glasgow - my thoughts are with all those affected by this horrific accident."

    19:37: Dedicated number

    Police Scotland launched a dedicated number - 01786 289070 - for anyone who has concerns about relatives or friends. It has also urged people in the city centre to let relatives know they are safe and well.

    Graphic showing where the crash happened

    A major investigation is now under way to establish the circumstances surrounding the crash.

    Glasgow City Council offered to turn off the Christmas Lights in George Square as a mark of respect but police requested they be kept on to assist with their inquiry.

    19:35: Recapping today's events

    Six people were killed and eight others injured after an out-of-control bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in central Glasgow.

    The council vehicle then crashed into the Millennium Hotel, near Queen Street station in George Square, at 14:30.

    The crash scene

    Eyewitnesses described emergency services battling to save the lives of injured people on the street.

    Police Scotland declared a major incident but said there appeared to be nothing "sinister" about the crash.

    George Square - Your Views

    Anne: A terrible day in #Glasgow. Condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy at #GeorgeSquare

    Gemma Clark: The emergency services in Glasgow are exceptional. last year #Cluthacrash this year #georgesquare & they act so fast to help.

    Cara Pleym: Devastated by the events in #georgesquare today, thoughts are with the family and friends of those directly affected

    Floral tributes laid

    Radio Clyde News tweets: Floral tributes already being placed close to scene of fatal bin lorry crash in #glasgow #georgesquare.

    Floral tributes laid at Glasgow crash site
    @NicolaSturgeon First Minister 'briefed' First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    Just left Govan police station where I've been getting briefed on response to #georgesquare tragedy. My heart simply breaks for all affected.

    19:25: In quotes

    Politicians, religious and civic leaders have spoken of their shock at today's incident.

    19:22: Eight people injured Police Scotland

    Police Scotland have confirmed that eight people are currently receiving treatment for their injuries in three city hospitals.

    This is in addition to the six people who were fatally injured.

    'Sincere condolences'

    Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan Another tragedy for Glasgow to deal with this afternoon. Sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the George Square crash.

    19:18: 'Horrific and tragic incident'

    Speaking earlier this evening, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described today's events as "heartbreaking".

    Nicola Sturgeon screengrab

    "This is a horrific and tragic incident," she said. "Horrific whenever it would have happened, but three days before Christmas it is absolutely heartbreaking.

    "First and foremost my thoughts, and I'm sure the thoughts of everyone across Scotland and indeed the UK, are with those who have lost loved ones in this dreadful incident; everybody who has suffered injury; and of course those who witnessed this.

    "All of our thoughts are with everyone affected, in any way."

    19:10: 'Horrible scene'

    Eyewitness Stephen McNeil described seeing the lorry mounting the kerb.

    "I was coming out of a shop and we looked over to the left and we saw this woman screaming and this man on the floor," he said.

    "We looked around the road further and we seen this bin lorry just mounting the kerb going left to right, just hitting people where they were standing.

    "Such a horrible scene."

    19:00: Police: 'Far too early' to say what happened

    Speaking on Reporting Scotland, Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland said it currently does not appear that the numbers of those injured in George Square were "exceeding double figures".

    He said that it was too early to say what had happened this afternoon.

    Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland

    Chief Insp Sutherland said: "We are now in an investigation and response phase and are working with our partners to make sure we get to the bottom of exactly why this happened.

    "Eyewitnesses are currently being interviewed by detectives to establish exactly what happened and if anyone else has information then please come forward on our 101 number.

    "We have put our a police helpline which is being very well used but if you are in the city centre please phone your love ones and let them know what you're safe and well."

    tweet using #GeorgeSquare George Square - Your Views

    Emma: My thoughts and prayers are with those affected in the tragic incident that happened in Glasgow today. #georgesquare

    Karen Southern: Tragic news in Glasgow this evening. my thoughts and prayers are with those poor people who've lost loved ones #GeorgeSquare

    Hilary Cubie: Thoughts are with everyone affected in the #georgesquare accident! So sad to hear something like that in the city you live in.

    Firefighters at the scene
    Text us using 80295 George Square - Your Views

    Anon: In the office in the Merchant Building on George Square, not being allowed to leave the building, not sure what's happening. Very upsetting and sad.

    Anon: As a Glaswegian living in France I am shocked by what has happened today and my thoughts are with the bereaved families and the citizens of this fine city.

    Adam Goss: Thoughts and prayers to those affected by the incident in Glasgow this afternoon.

    18:39: George Square crash reaction

    Rory Bremner: Terrible that Glasgow's mighty spirit is being tested yet again by tragedy. At this time too. Heartfelt sympathy to victims & families.

    Paul Lawrie: Awful news from Glasgow my thoughts with everyone affected by the tragedy.

    Ross Murdoch: Such tragic news from Glasgow this evening! My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this personally and also the witnesses.

    18:35: Fatal crash update

    BBC Scotland's Catriona Renton at Glasgow Royal Infirmary: Nine people have been taken by the emergency services to hospitals across the city. The driver is one of those in hospital. There is no update on his condition.

    @nick_clegg 'Horrific news'

    Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg tweets: Horrific news in Glasgow. My heart goes out to the families of all those caught up in this awful incident.

    18:27: Coming up

    An extended Reporting Scotland is getting under way on BBC One Scotland.

    BBC Reporting Scotland

    You can watch the programme here.

    18:20: At the scene Jamie McIvor BBC Scotland correspondent

    Standing in George Square at the moment it is much quieter than you'd normally imagine at six o'clock at night. All the roads nearby are closed off and far fewer pedestrians than usual.

    Emergency vehicles are, of course, still at the scene and there remains a heavy police presence to both guard the scene and offer advice to people trying to find an alternative route.

    18:17: 'Bent the traffic poles'

    Comedian Janey Godley, who was present in the aftermath of the incident in George Square this afternoon, has posted this picture showing metal poles bent flattened to the ground by the bin lorry.

    She writes: "The force of this accident bent the traffic poles".

    Metal poles bent over by bin lorry
    Text us using 80295 George Square crash - Your Views

    Anon: On the train from Montrose to Glasgow Queen Street and our next stop is Queen Street - the mood is very sombre.

    18:09: Carmichael: 'Unimaginable scenes'

    Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland, said: "I share Scotland's deep shock at the horrible events in Glasgow this afternoon."

    Alistair Carmichael

    "On the eve of the festive period, these are unimaginable scenes in one of the busiest parts of our largest city.

    "My thoughts are with the bereaved, the emergency services dealing with the aftermath and everyone affected by this terrible incident."

    18:02: City 'shocked' by fatal crash

    Sandra White, the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said the mood was "one of shock".

    "It's surreal to say the least," she added. "I was in Queen Street myself half an hour before this happened. It brings it home to you that this could have happened to anyone.

    bin lorry crash

    "The first thing in people's minds was, not another tragedy so soon after the Clutha.

    "But Glasgow will pick itself up - we are resilient people. But obviously our thoughts are with the people who are suffering at the moment, the families."

    18:00: Murphy pays tribute to emergency services

    Commenting on the tragedy in Glasgow, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said: "We don't yet know the full extent of this tragedy, but my thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved.

    Jim Murphy

    "People in Glasgow and across the whole of Scotland will be mourning this loss of life so close to Christmas. No words will be able to do justice to the pain the families involved will be feeling this evening.

    "I want to pay tribute to our emergency services, who are performing heroics in the worst of circumstances. They will have the admiration of every Glaswegian and all Scots."

    17:53: Police update Laura Bicker in George Square Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    We are expecting another update from the police very shortly. Officers are making their way in at the moment. There are a number of fire engines and paramedics still on the scene.

    @GlasgowCC Mark of respect

    Glasgow City Council tweets: We considered switching off Christmas lights in George Square as a mark of respect. Police asked us to leave them on to help investigation.

    17:47: Six people killed

    Police Scotland have confirmed that six people have been killed in the Glasgow bin lorry crash.

    17:43: At the scene Jamie McIvor BBC Scotland correspondent

    As you can imagine many people working in the blocks around here are absolutely shocked by what they saw earlier on this afternoon.

    Some have been out handing out tea to passers-by and the emergency services and talking about what some of their colleagues saw.

    92 - 95 FM and 810 MW Listen live BBC Radio Scotland

    Coverage of events in George Square continues live on BBC Radio Scotland #Glasgow #georgesquare

    17:35: 'Fighting for their lives'

    Witness Janey Godley told the BBC News Channel that people were "getting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on the ground" when she arrived in George Square.

    "I think I was there just as the ambulances arrived because there was stuff strewn, debris strewn, all over the street, Christmas shopping all over the street," she said.

    Ms Godley said she saw three people being treated by emergency crews.

    "People were being worked on, people were fighting for their lives on the pavement as shoppers were standing," she added.

    "People just like me had arrived on the most shocking scene they ever wanted to see this Christmas. George Square is a square with a fairground and an ice rink and Santa and the tree and everything."

    17:20: Let family know you are ok

    Labour MP for Glasgow Central, Anas Sarwar, is calling for anybody in the George Square area to contact family:

    5Live post

    Anyone who is concerned that their loves ones might have been caught up in the incident can call the Police Scotland helpline on 01786 289070.

    17:16: Map of crash scene
    map of crash scene
    17:14: Floral tributes at the scene Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    A number of people have been coming here delivering flowers, because they've just heard the news and felt that they needed to do something.

    17:14: 'Shocked and astounded'

    Ian Davidson, the Labour MP for Glasgow South West, said: "This is a tragic accident at any time. But obviously in the run-up to the Christmas holiday period, people were shocked and astounded by what has happened.

    "My understanding is that the emergency services responded as quickly as possible, very quickly indeed, and that everything possible was done for the injured.

    "So with any luck we will have the number of casualties minimised.

    "My understanding is that there has been a number of deaths and obviously there needs to be a complete investigation into what has happened."

    17:10: Not 'terrorism-related'

    Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson of Police Scotland said: "Investigations continue into the circumstances of the tragic incident in George Square today. While those investigations are continuing, we can however confirm that this is not a terrorism-related incident."

    Anyone in Glasgow city centre today is being urged to let family members and friends know that they are safe. Anyone who is concerned that they know someone who has been involved in the incident should contact the Police Scotland helpline number on 01786 289070.

    17:06: What happened

    Watch here to see Police Superintendent Stewart Carle explain what happened when the bin lorry crashed into people in Queen Street.

    Police Superintendent Stewart Carle
    17:04: Glaswegians 'compassion' and solidarity'

    SNP MSP for Glasgow Humza Yousaf tweets: Glaswegians already showing compassion & solidarity. Glasgow cabbie will take anyone affected home/hospital for free.

    Breaking News

    Six people confirmed to have been killed and a number of others injured after an out-of-control bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in central Glasgow.

    The council vehicle then crashed into the Millennium Hotel, near Queen Street station in George Square, at 14:30.

    Eyewitnesses described emergency services battling to save the lives of injured people on the street.

    Eight people receiving hospital treatment following the crash, police say.

    Police Scotland have declared a major incident but said there appeared to be nothing "sinister" about the crash.

    17:01: Casualties at three hospitals

    Police Scotland say all casualties from the George Square incident have been taken to the Southern General Hospital, Royal Infirmary and Western Infirmary.

    16:59: Latest pictures
    Members of the public comfort each other after the incident in George Square Members of the public comfort each other after the incident in George Square
    16:56: Rennie's reaction

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie tweets: Horrific news from George Square. My thoughts are with families, friends and injured.

    16:54: 'Horrible scene'

    Eyewitness Stephen McNeil said: "I was coming out of a shop and we looked over to the left and we saw this woman screaming and this man on the floor.

    "We looked around the road further and we seen this bin lorry just mounting the kerb going left to right just hitting people where they were standing.

    "Such a horrible scene."

    16:52: Labour party reaction

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy have both tweeted about the incident.

    Ed Milliband tweet screengrab
    Jim Murphy Tweet screengrab
    16:52: Eyewitness accounts

    Angela McManus, a reporter with The Herald, said: "We ran down and went down to the street and at that point as you say there were bodies lying on the road. It was pretty bad.

    "There were hundreds of Christmas shoppers, obviously the school holidays had just finished up on Friday night so there were lots of young families, people everywhere.

    "The ice skating rink and the carnival are at George Square so there were hundreds and hundreds of people.

    "People just looked stunned. There were screams, sirens, no one really knew at first what had happened."

    16:47: Driver in hospital

    Police Superintendent Stewart Carle of Police Scotland has said: "We are currently starting a joint investigation with the criminal investigation department as to what has happened this afternoon.

    "The driver has also been taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment."

    The road is closed off from Ingram Street and Queen Street to George Square.

    16:45: Reporting Scotland at the scene

    There will be an extended edition of Reporting Scotland on BBC One tonight from 18:30 to 19:30, presented by Jackie Bird from the scene.

    Several people have been killed after a bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in George Square in central Glasgow. Several people have been killed after a bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in George Square in central Glasgow.
    16:39: Reevel Alderson Home affairs correspondent, BBC Scotland

    It seems that bulk of the casualties happened in the area between the Gallery of Modern Art and George Square, before the vehicle continued on its way back, this time on the road, before embedding itself in the hotel.

    That's a journey of something like 300 yards - it would have taken a few seconds to travel up, if it was going at any speed.

    16:39: Bin lorry crash latest
    The scene in Glasgow's George Square The scene in Glasgow's George Square
    16:36: Pictures from the scene
    Emergency services attend the scene of the crash in George Square Emergency services attend the scene of the crash in George Square
    16:36: Salmond's prayers

    Former first minister Alex Salmond tweets: Thoughts & prayers with all those caught up with tragic accident in Glasgow.

    16:35: PM 'fully briefed'

    Prime Minister David Cameron tweets:

    Screengrab of David Cameron's tweet
    16:34: Latest pictures
    A member of the public is comforted by emergency services close to the scene in Glasgow"s George Square A member of the public is comforted by emergency services close to the scene in Glasgow"s George Square
    16:33: Eyewitness: Lorry 'flattened bodies' on pavement

    Anjan Luthra witnessed the crash. He told BBC News: "I work in George Square and had nipped out for lunch, and was in the queue in Greggs. All of a sudden I heard this screaming and quite a consistent racket.

    "I ran out of the store and right directly across from me, I was just watching a very very heavy bin lorry just flatten bodies on the pavement. It was driving along the pavement and taking everything along with it, and then it went across the street.

    "Immediately people started calling 999, and started directing traffic.

    "There were two bodies right in the centre of the T-junction who were getting CPR mouth-to-mouth and there were some bodies that were so fatally injured that you couldn't really do anything."

    16:31: 'Terrible tragedy'

    Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "This is a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected."

    16:28: Police Hotline number

    Police Scotland tweets: If you have any concerns relating to the #GeorgeSquare incident please dial Police Scotland's major incident hotline on 01786 289 070.

    16:23: Number of fatalities

    Police Scotland have confirmed there have been "a number of fatalities".

    A spokesman said: "About 14:30 today, a Glasgow City Council bin lorry was travelling north on Queen Street when it appeared to strike pedestrians outside the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) before continuing to travel towards George Square, when it crashed at the Millennium Hotel on Queen Street at George Square.

    "There have been a number of fatalities and people injured.

    "Emergency services are currently at the scene. Police have declared the scene a major incident.

    "All roads in the surrounding area are closed and people are advised to stay away from George Square and make alternative travel arrangements."

    16:22: Video - Bin lorry crash

    Watch James Cook's report on the bin lorry crash which has caused the deaths of several people in Glasgow.

    16:22: 'At least seven seriously injured'

    The Police Superintendent said he was unable to confirm that number of fatalities because they are over a number of sites.

    He said he understood there to be "at least seven people seriously injured" but said that that number may well rise.

    The injured have been taken to three major hospitals in Glasgow: The Western Infirmary, Glasgow Southern General and the Royal Infirmary.

    He also asked the public not to call the Police on 101 to seek further information, and said that the police number would be issued later this afternoon for those who are worried.

    16:21: First minister's reaction

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "My thoughts are with everyone involved in the dreadful George Square incident."

    16:21: Eyewitness: 'People fighting for lives on pavement'

    One eyewitness at the scene at George Square said: "People were being worked on, people were fighting for their lives on that pavement as shoppers were standing. People were helping."

    Breaking News

    Several people have been killed after a bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in George Square in central Glasgow.

    Police Scotland said there had been "a number of fatalities and people injured" in the crash, outside Queen Street station at about 14:30.

    The crash is being treated as a road traffic incident and police do not believe there is anything "sinister".

    16:16: Road traffic incident

    The crash is being treated as a road traffic incident and police do not believe there is anything "sinister".

    16:14: 'Just like Clutha'

    Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson was in Glasgow at the time of the accident and paid tribute to the way people reacted.

    Ruth Davidson Interview

    She said: "I was in Argyle Street doing my Christmas shopping.

    "It would appear that the response, just like last year with the Clutha disaster, by passers-by, pedestrians, normal Glaswegians has been magnificent.

    "They came to aid at the very beginning. They stopped traffic as soon as the emergency services got there.

    "They followed all instructions. They did everything that they could."

    16:11: Injured taken to hospital

    At the scene of the accident Police Superintendent Stewart Carle said: "At about 14:30 this afternoon a Glasgow City Council refuse bin lorry was travelling north on Queen Street, when it collided with a pedestrian.

    "The lorry continued up Queen Street towards George Square and there has been a number of other collisions with pedestrians on the pavement. As a consequence there have been a number of fatalities. The bin lorry came to rest at the Millennium Hotel.

    "The seriously injured and injured have been taken to the three Glasgow major incident sites.

    "We are working with our partners to resolve the situation and as quickly as possible identify those that have lost their lives, and to be there to support their families and next of kin."

    16:01: Driver 'slumped over the wheel' Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Police spokeswoman confirmed a number of fatalities, that number she would not confirm. There have also been a number of people seriously injured.

    There are a number of fire engines and a number of paramedics still at the scene, where stretchers have been led in.

    What we have heard from eyewitnesses is that the bin lorry appears to have careereed out of control and hit a number of people.

    We've also heard from one witness who described the driver of the bin lorry as "slumped over the wheel".

    16:01: Witnesses help at scene

    Witness Anjan Luthra said staff from a nearby Pizza Express were "helping to cover up bodies".

    "Pedestrians were doing mouth-to-mouth to numerous injured people.

    "It seemed as if the driver had a heart attack."

    15:51: 'Bodies on the road'

    An eyewitness in Glasgow has described seeing several bodies lying on the road after the bin lorry crashed.

    Police have not confirmed how many people are injured but have described the crash, outside Queen Street station, as "very serious".

    Witness Janey Godley said: "There are people on the ground getting CPR and there were bodies still on the road when I approached.

    "And the whole surrounding area of George Square and the streets leading into it are absolutely hammered with the emergency services getting there.

    "It's the busiest time of year and it's also going to be the saddest time of the year for those families."

    15:49: BBC Have Your Say BBC News

    Did you witness the lorry crash in George Square in Glasgow? Please share your stories but do remain safe.

    Email your pictures and eye witness accounts to

    Breaking News

    Several people have been killed after a bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in George Square in central Glasgow.

    Police have not confirmed reports of up to six fatalities but described the crash, outside Queen Street station at about 14:30, as "very serious".

    Eyewitnesses reported the bin lorry moving at speed up Queen Street before hearing a bang as it crashed into the Millennium Hotel.

    Several people were seen lying on the ground following the crash.

    Email: 15:43: Pictures from the scene

    A picture of the corner of Queen Street and St Vincent Street.

    Alasdair McKerrall

    The eyewitness says that the lorry continued up the length of Queen Street before hitting the Millennium Hotel.

    15:39: Emergency plan

    A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "Along with all the emergency services, we have an emergency plan that automatically kicks in when there is a major incident."

    15:38: 'It started at Royal Exchange Square'

    Restaurant owner George Smith told BBC Scotland about the scenes at George Square.

    He said: "It [the lorry] started from the bottom of Royal Exchange Square and crashed into the wall at the Millennium Hotel.

    "A customer walked into our restaurant and told us what happened outside. We walked outside and in the first five minutes the first ambulance arrived.

    "The police and ambulance arrived quite fast. I was quite surprised because they were very, very fast."

    Breaking News

    A number of people are believed to have been injured after a bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in George Square in Glasgow city centre.

    15:32: Latest pictures

    Another image of the incident on George Square

    George Square
    15:26: Reports - Five cars involved

    Hannah Rodger, Reporter for the Evening Times, Herald and Sunday Herald, tweets: Serious accident involving a bin lorry at George Square. At least 5 cars damaged, ambulance taken patients to hospital.

    Scene at George Square
    15:21: Rescue operation underway

    A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "Firefighters are in attendance at a serious incident on Queen Street.

    "We received a 999 call at 2.30pm reporting a collision and currently have five appliances at the scene.

    "Our crews are working alongside other emergency responders to conduct a rescue operation".

    15:18: More from the scene The Scotsman

    Emergency services called to the scene after reports of a 'terrible accident'.

    Scenes at George Square
    15:13: Emergency services on the scene James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Major incident here in Glasgow's George Square

    Scene at George Square
    15:12: George Square latest

    Viewer Eric Smith sent in this picture of the incident in George Square.

    George Square incident
    Lorry crash scene

    The Scottish Sun tweets: BREAKING NEWS: Passers by injured as bin lorry loses control near #georgesquare #glasgow

    bin lorry crash
    Reports - Two dead

    James Matthews, Sky News Scotland Bureau Chief, tweets: Sky sources- at least two people dead after bin lorry collides with pedestrians in Glasgow's George Square & crashes into hotel.

    Breaking News

    A number of people are believed to have been injured after a bin lorry crashed in George Square in Glasgow.

    George Square
    15:02: 'People on the floor'

    BBC Scotland's Gary Robertson was close by when the bin lorry accident happened.

    He said: "I didn't see it but heard a huge bang.

    "I saw several people lying on the floor and many ambulances in attendance.

    "People have told me it must have been going at great speed."

    15:01: Eyewitnesses at the scene

    Photographer Stephen Gibson was at George Square when the incident occurred, and took this picture of the scene.

    Picture from the scene

    He told BBC Scotland: "I heard a loud bang, but I didn't see exactly what happened.

    "The police have closed the whole area off."

    14:54: Daily Record

    tweets: Six people feared dead after bin lorry crashes into pedestrians in Glasgow city centre

    14:52: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Glasgow City Centre - George Square closed because of an ongoing police incident. Severe congestion. Please avoid.

    14:48: Breaking News

    Calgacus MacAndrews tweets: Newsflash: Refuse truck crashes into Millennium Hotel in George Square in Glasgow. Will cause traffic probs.

    bin lorry crash
    14:41: Deliveries despite floods

    Royal Mail has set up a contingency collection and delivery hub in Kilmarnock ATC Hall, after floods cut off access to their delivery office in Queens Drive Retail Park.

    Royal Mail delivery van

    The company say they have delivered all special delivery items and parcels to customers in Kilmarnock today and hope to be able to access their delivery office tomorrow if the water subsides.

    They ask that any customers with concerns about mail delivery contact their customer services line on 03457 740740.

    Criminal confusion The Press and Journal

    tweets: Man calls police to report break-in...then finds noise is actually cops coming to arrest him.

    Two police officers at a door

    Read the full story here.

    14:23: On the roads BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    On the A90 heading to Dundee, roadworks at the Swallow roundabout are causing long delays. There is a two-mile tailback going back towards Longforgan.

    14:13: Video - Ayrshire flooding

    Watch Catriona Renton's report as firefighters rescue 42 people who were stranded by floodwater at a supermarket in East Ayrshire.

    Flooding in Ayrshire

    The Asda at Queen's Drive Retail Park, Kilmarnock, was surrounded by water after the River Irvine burst its banks.

  97. 13:55: Your pictures - Get involved

    Gordon Milligan, of Broughty Ferry, sent us this picture of "a perfect winter day's diving at Saint Catherine's".

    St Catherine's

    Email us your pictures and we will use the best.

    13:45: Murder inquiry launched

    A murder inquiry has been launched after the death of a man in Clydebank.

    John McCallum

    John McCallum, 49, was discovered with serious injuries at his home in Meldrum Street, Whitecrook, at about 21:30 on Thursday, 18 December.

    He was taken by ambulance to the Western Infirmary in Glasgow where he died on Saturday.

    A post mortem examination has taken place and police are treating his death as murder.

    13:36: River path body identified

    Police have identified a woman whose body was found on a path near the River Nith in Dumfries and Galloway after a search operation.

    River Nith

    Jane Brann, 56, of New Abbey, had been reported missing on Friday.

    A search of the surrounding area was carried out by police and a Royal Navy helicopter was also involved.

    Her body was found on a river path at Kingholm Quay at 08:00 on Saturday. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

    13:32: Leisure jobs plan approved

    Up to 300 jobs could be created after plans for a new restaurant and cinema development in the heart of Aberdeen were approved.

    Bon Accord & St Nicholas shopping centres in Aberdeen

    The multi-million pound plans are to expand the Bon Accord and St Nicholas shopping centres.

    They include a 28,000 sq ft cinema complex featuring seven screens, with the capacity to seat 800 people.

    The approval by Aberdeen City Council also paves the way for seven new restaurants.



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