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Jeremy Corbyn accuses Nicola Sturgeon of preparing to ‘usher in’ Tory government after independence row

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Jeremy Corbyn accuses Nicola Sturgeon of preparing to ‘usher in’ Tory government after independence row

The Labour leader said the First Minister could allow a “heartless” Conservative party into power by refusing to back him

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Nicola Sturgeon of being prepared to “usher in” a Tory government after a row over Scottish independence.

The Labour leader suggested the First Minister could allow a “heartless” Conservative party into power by refusing to back him.

It comes after Sturgeon said the Labour leader should not “pick up the phone” unless he was willing to let her set the date for a second referendum poll.

Speaking on Wednesday, Corbyn had appeared to reverse his previous position on allowing a fresh referendum if he was elected PM, instead saying there would be “no referendum in the first term of a Labour government because I think we need to concentrate completely in investment across Scotland”.

He later said his party was “not doing pacts, not doing deals” with the SNP, adding: “Do they really want to impose on the people of Scotland more years of austerity, more poor children, more homeless people? More housing shortage? More lack of investment?

“Or are they going to support a Labour government which invests for the future of Scotland? It’s their choice.”

But the SNP leader hit back at the comments, indicating she would refuse to support Corbyn unless a second referendum was on the table.

She said: "‪I won't help him in power, to get into power, to stay in power if he doesn't accept the principle that whether there is a referendum in Scotland and what the timescale of that referendum should be should be determined by the people of Scotland."

The row descended further after Corbyn posted a video to Twitter accusing the SNP of bringing down then-Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan in 1979 and ushering Margaret Thatcher into Downing Street.

He added: “Just like in 1979, @theSNP are willing to usher in another heartless Conservative government.”

But the post provoked a furious response from the SNP leader, who accused Corbyn of being “desperate”.

She added: “I was in primary school in 1979. I’ll never support Tories in power. But Labour would have big questions to answer if they gave up a chance at UK government in order to block Scotland’s right to choose our own future.”

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