General Election 2017
Corbyn rejects Sturgeon call for anti-Tory pact
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s call to join an anti-austerity coalition against the Conservative party.
In the first signs of disunity among opposition parties, Mr Corbyn ruled out a post-election pact with the SNP.
He said there cannot be a “progressive alliance” with the SNP because it is not a progressive party, having passed on Tory austerity in Scotland.
The UK Labour leader repeated his claim from earlier this year that Scottish independence would lead to “turbo-charged austerity” in Scotland, not progressive politics.
“There will be no coalition deal with the SNP and a Labour government,” he said.
“The SNP may talk left at Westminster, but in government in Scotland it acts right. A genuinely progressive party would not refuse to introduce a 50p top rate of income tax on the richest.
“The SNP wants to break up the UK; it has no interest in making it work better. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity in Scotland – not progressive politics.”
His comments came after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon made an appeal for a cross-party alliance to fight the Conservative party.
Mr Corbyn said: “Nicola Sturgeon is trying to convince people in Scotland that you can get rid of the Tories by voting SNP. She couldn’t be more wrong.
“Only Labour or the Tories can win this election and voting Labour is the only way to remove Theresa May from office.
“If you want progressive policies that deliver social justice, fairness and equality then you should vote for the Labour Party. Why vote for a poor imitation, that has overseen an increase in child poverty and the biggest increase in the working poor since devolution, when you can have the real thing in the progressive Labour Party.”
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who spoke at today’s meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee, said: “I told the NEC there is already is a progressive alliance in the UK: it’s called the Labour Party.
“The SNP wants to break up the UK – it has no interest in making it work better.
“Only two parties can win this election – Labour or the Tories. Scottish Labour will be putting forward a positive vision for a fairer UK that rejects both the Tories’ plans for a hard Brexit and the SNP’s plans for a divisive second independence referendum.”