Yes Scotland chief urges 'passion and integrity' in independence debate

Blair Jenkins said constitutional discussion should be free of 'Punch and Judy confrontations'.

Debate: Party leaders discussed staging of the 2014 referendum.

The debate over the Scottish independence referendum should be "free from Punch and Judy confrontations", the new chief executive of the Yes campaign has said.

Blair Jenkins, whose appointment was revealed on Thursday, pledged that the attempt to persuade voters to back independence in the referendum planned for autumn 2014 will be "run with passion, discipline and integrity".

Mr Jenkins, a former head of news and current affairs at both STV and BBC Scotland, said: "Our guiding principle will be to provide high quality information to the greatest number of Scots so that they can make an informed choice in 2014.

"Now that both sides have launched their campaigns, I sincerely hope we can have a sensible and mature debate free from Punch and Judy confrontations. I want to run a campaign that all of Scotland can be proud of."

Mr Jenkins made the comments days after former chancellor Alistair Darling launched the Better Together campaign that aims to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom.

Mr Darling, a Labour MP, warned on Monday that the decision made in the referendum will be "irrevocable", saying: "If we decide to leave the United Kingdom, there is no way back."

Meanwhile, former Labour MP Dennis Canavan has been made chair of Yes Scotland's advisory board. More details of the role of the board and its members will be disclosed in the next few days.

Mr Canavan said he looks forward to working with Mr Jenkins because he has the "skills, experience and commitment to meet the challenge ahead".

Yes Scotland will be based in Glasgow, with several city centre sites being considered for its headquarters.

Mr Jenkins, also a former director of broadcasting at Scottish Television and who chaired the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, said his career had been focused on "impartial journalism".

He said: "I'm not a member of any party and I've never engaged in any form of political activity. But this is just too important. This is a once-in-a lifetime campaign for me personally and for the people of Scotland. They will be asked to make the most important decision for the future of our nation in more than 300 years and I am totally committed to ensuring they have the best possible information to help them make the right choice.

"The Yes Scotland campaign is the people's and the people's referendum. It will be represented and supported by people from across the political spectrum and none. It will not be dominated by party politics."

SNP Campaigns Director Angus Robertson said:"I congratulate both Dennis and Blair on their appointments to key positions in the Yes Scotland campaign.

"Dennis is one of Scotland’s most distinguished and respected political figures, and I can think of no one better to bring together the broad civic movement across Scotland which will campaign for the Yes vote to deliver an independent Scotland.

"Blair has made a significant contribution to Scottish journalism, and he is determined that over the next two and a half years Scotland can have an open and informed debate about our constitutional future.

"This referendum is the biggest opportunity for Scotland in three hundred years, and I am delighted that the Yes Campaign is putting such a strong team in place to deliver a Yes vote, securing a better future for the people of Scotland."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.


Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.