Salmond in Derry ahead of Euro poll

Alex Salmond.

Alex Salmond.

Scotland’s former First Minister Alex Salmond will be in Derry later this week.

The ex-leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) is to speak at an event hosted by the city’s Chamber of Commerce on Friday afternoon.

Now a SNP MP at Westminster, Mr. Salmond was First Minister for Scotland between 2007 and 2014 and headed the unsuccessful campaign for Scottish independence.

Gavin Killeen, president of the city’s Chamber, says Mr. Salmond’s visit is timely just weeks ahead of the EU referendum vote.

“It is real coup for the Chamber of Commerce to attract such a high calibre speaker to our next leadership lunch,” he said.

“Alex Salmond is not only one of the most successful politicians in our islands, he is also a very strong advocate of remaining within the European Union.

“As the Brexit campaign reaches its end, we can sense an increasing interest and concern locally about the outcome. This is a very timely visit for one of our islands’ most senior and experienced politicians.”

Tickets for Friday’s event at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel are priced £30 (plus VAT) and can be purchased from the Chamber.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness is urging voters to “put Ireland first” by voting to remain in the EU on June 23.

He said: “The European Union is far from perfect but the only way to address that and change it is from within. Our policy towards the European Union remains one of critical engagement.

“Brexit would be bad for Ireland, bad for business and trade, bad for our farmers and bad for human rights and workers rights.”

The North’s deputy First Minister added: “We cannot allow the narrow interests of a section of the Tory party, which was not elected by the people of the North, to take us out of Europe and set our political agenda.”