Two ex-Welsh Secretaries discuss who speaks for England

At times it felt more like Scottish Questions than PMQs, even if a Yorkshireman was answering the questions.

Commons Leader William Hague stood in for the PM as David Cameron headed to Scotland. Most of the questions were about Scotland - and the future of the UK.

Mr Hague warned that the impact of Scottish independence on Wales would be "unmistakeable".

Mr Hague, a former secretary of state for Wales, said Welsh people - including his wife, Ffion - were "hoping and praying" for a "no" vote in next week's referendum.

He was responding to this question from Montgomeryshire Conservative MP Glyn Davies: "A vote next week in favour of an independent Scotland will have major damaging implications for Wales. Do you agree with me that my fellow Welsh citizens - who care about the future of our Welsh nation - should be hoping and praying for the rejection of the break-up of the United Kingdom?"

Mr Hague assured him: "I regularly consult with at least one Welsh citizen and on the evidence of that they are very much hoping and praying that the UK will not be broken up. All of us in the United Kingdom would be diminished by the break-up of the United Kingdom.

"We are something greater than the sum of our parts and that is well understood across the UK and the impact on Wales would be unmistakeable."

Earlier, Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman had asked Mr Hague to agree with her that the time had come to devolve further powers to Wales and to "the great cities and regions of England".

He told her: "We are already steadily devolving increased to parts of England as well as doing so to Wales. Under this government, Wales has received more primary law-making powers. We are moving to devolve tax and borrowing powers for the first time."

Mr Hague's predecessor as secretary of state for Wales, John Redwood, also asked a question, prompted by the agreement of the UK parties at Westminster to offer Scotland more powers if it rejects independence: "Who in the government will represent England for the new devolution settlement?" asked Mr Redwood. "Who speaks for England because we need a voice and a new deal?"

Mr Hague told him: "Having represented Yorkshire for 25 years I can claim to speak for England from time to time. All of these debates are to be had once the referendum is concluded."