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Henry’s fall

Henry McLeish's resignation may help Scotland loosen its ties with Westminster

By Neal Ascherson   December 2001

Henry McLeish was no giant. But it is not a small thing to be the premier of a European nation of 5m people, even within the confines of devolution.

McLeish’s failure to declare the income from sub-letting his Westminster constituency office in Glenrothes was hardly full-strength, export-quality sleaze. But it was wrong, and the journalists were right to go digging. It became a much bigger deal because of his incredible bungling and his fumbling evasions as one office tenant after another was exposed, and the total sum of rent grew larger with each delivery of the morning papers. Nobody imagines…

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