News story

More powers for Scottish Parliament

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

I want to turn referendum energy into action says Lord Smith.

Lord Smith of Kelvin was today appointed to oversee the process of taking forward the cross party commitment on more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting on his appointment, Lord Smith said:

Over the past few weeks we have seen the referendum campaign generate a huge amount of political energy in every part of Scotland. It was a tough debate, full of passion. But now the vote is over it is time for us to come together and work together.

There is an appetite for change and a strengthening of the powers for the Scottish Parliament. This is backed by all the main political parties. My role is to create a process through which we can channel that energy into real action. This won’t be a drawn out process; I have started work today and will present what I hope will be unifying recommendations on 30th November.

There will be an opportunity for everyone to have their say. First, I will be speaking to all the UK and Scottish political parties. Secondly, I will be engaging the institutions of Scotland, whether it be trade unions, businesses or voluntary organisations. Lastly and most importantly, 4.2 million people in Scotland were involved in the referendum. They aren’t all represented by political parties or institutions, they are individuals who have ideas and thoughts on our future. I want to reach out to them and make them an essential part of this exciting process.


Lord Smith of Kelvin is one of the UK’s most experienced and senior chairmen, having led organisations in the private, public and third sector.

Most recently he chaired the Organising Committee for Glasgow 2014 (Commonwealth Games) and currently chairs the UK Green Investment Bank and SSE. He is also Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and a Director of Standard Bank Group.

A chartered accountant by profession and formerly President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Lord Smith has held a number of executive roles in financial services and has been a Governor of the BBC and Chairman of Children in Need, Chairman of the National Museums of Scotland, Chair of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum Appeal, and Vice-Chair of the Kelvingrove Appeal. He also chaired the process which produced the ‘Smith Report’ on guidance for Audit Committees, chaired the ‘Smith Group’ advising the Scottish Government on young people not in education, employment or training, and, last year, chaired the committee which produced the Code of Governance for Higher Education in Scotland.

Born and educated in Glasgow, Lord Smith was knighted in 1999, appointed to the House of Lords as an independent cross-bench peer in 2008, and appointed Knight of the Thistle in 2013.