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SCOTLAND'S PARLIAMENT: 2 DAYS TO GO - ICE WORK DON; Holyrood campaign in sunshine.

IT WASN'T just the weather that warmed up for the Bank Holiday yesterday.

Prospective First Minister Donald Dewar reckoned Labour had the SNP licked as the battle for Holyrood reached fever pitch.

With the election just two days away, it's all systems go as Labour try to keep the polls singing their praises.

The Scottish Secretary visited Peebles, where temperatures touched almost 70 degrees, to the delight of sunseeking families.

He cooled down in style with an ice cream - and poured cold water on the SNP's citizenship plans.

And his cultured style in polishing off his cone meant he'd certainly outpoll little Hugh Guy, two, in the etiquette stakes.

The youngster was more interested in guzzling his ice cream treat than electioneering as he enjoyed a blazing hot day at Blairdrummond Safari Park, near Stirling.

Dewar wrote to SNP leader Alex Salmond posing 10 questions about the SNP's citizenship plans.

He asked what tests the SNP would have for those applying for Scottish citizenship, and how much it would cost to register all those living in Scotland.

He also challenged the SNP on why they had narrowed the guidelines to exclude those who had a parent or grandparent born in Scotland but temporarily out of the country.

However last night an SNP spokesman said: "Our policy is actually much more inclusive than theirs.

"They are responsible for the most draconian immigration rules Britain has ever seen, which would mean children born in this country of asylum seekers would not be UK citizens. That is disgraceful.

"You cannot impose citizenship on people who may not have any interest in Scotland, but if they want to apply then our message is come and join us - Scotland is not full up."
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Author:McGIVERN, MARK
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 4, 1999
Words:288
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