Jeremy Corbyn rules out Labour 'progressive alliance' with SNP
The Labour leader also attacked the SNP’s record in government
Jeremy Corbyn - Image credit: Press Association
Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out forming a coalition with the SNP if there is a hung parliament following the election on 8 June.
The Labour leader closed the door on a deal with the SNP just hours after Nicola Sturgeon raised the prospect of an anti-Tory “progressive alliance” between her party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
The Labour leader formally rejected the offer at an emergency meeting of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) – and afterwards launched a stinging attack on the SNP's record in government at Holyrood.
He said: “There will be no coalition deal with the SNP and a Labour government.
“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.
“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?”
Ed Miliband's failure to rule out a deal with the SNP until very late in the 2015 election campaign is seen as one of the main reasons why he lost.
It allowed the Conservatives to run damaging campaign ads which depicted him in the pocket of former SNP leader Alex Salmond.
But speaking at a campaign rally in Bolton this evening, Theresa May insisted that a Labour/SNP alliance remained a real possibility.
She said: “There’s a very clear choice at this election – it’s a choice between strong and stable leadership under the Conservatives or weak and unstable coalition of chaos led by Jeremy Corbyn.
“And that is very clear. Let’s look, the other parties are lining up to prop up Jeremy Corbyn – we’ve seen it with the Liberal Democrats and we see it with Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Nationalists.”
The Prime Minister added: “Only we can give that plan for a stronger Britain for a more secure future, but only you can give us the mandate.
“So vote for a strong and stable leadership in this country; vote for the strong and stable leadership this country needs.
“Give me the mandate to lead Britain; give me the mandate to speak for Britain; give me the mandate to fight for Britain; and give me the mandate to deliver for Britain.”