Nicola Sturgeon:SNP should join pre-election talks

Nicola Sturgeon says SNP policy has UK-wide impact. Picture: PA
Nicola Sturgeon says SNP policy has UK-wide impact. Picture: PA
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FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to the head of the UK civil service calling for the SNP to be included in pre-election Whitehall talks.

The SNP leader’s letter said that polling suggested all parties with elected MPs could be in a position of power after the poll on 7 May.

By convention, opposition parties are entitled to enter into discussions with civil servants in the run-up to a general election but discussions must be sanctioned by PM David Cameron.

Ms Sturgeon’s letter said: “The SNP programme includes a substantial alternative to the austerity cuts supported by the UK Westminster parties, cancelling the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system, and a requirement that each and every constituent nation of the UK would have to vote to leave the European Union in any in/out referendum before the UK could exit. These and other policies which we will seek to advance in the next parliament are obviously of UK-wide application, and I believe that the Whitehall system would benefit from becoming more familiar with our propositions.”

Commons leader William Hague said civil servants will make plans for what could happen if the SNP proves influential after the election, although it was not for the government to decide on such plans.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have received the letter. It is a matter for the Prime Minister and he will respond in due course.”

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