ED Miliband yesterday said Labour in Scotland will have its own general election manifesto as he hit back at suggestions that the Scottish party is a branch office of London.
The UK Labour leader said it was “completely right” Scottish leader Jim Murphy should take decisions on devolved issues, as the two men were campaigning in the East End of Glasgow.
His first visit to Scotland since Mr Murphy took over also saw Mr Miliband decline to rule out a post-election deal with the SNP.
Mr Miliband further argued that the emergence of houses worth hundreds of millions of pounds on the London property market made his case for a mansion tax “stronger and stronger”.
When asked if he would categorically rule out a deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP, Mr Miliband replied: “I have only one focus which is a majority Labour government. I am going to put before the British people a manifesto – there will be a separate and distinct Scottish manifesto, which I think is important thing – and then I will say to people we want you to elect a majority Labour government. That is what I think the country needs and that’s what all my focus and all my energy is on.”
When pressed, Mr Miliband said: “I couldn’t be clearer. I think Jim’s used the words before. Jim has said, ‘We don’t need. We don’t want and we are not planning for that.’ That’s my position.”
On the mansion tax, Mr Miliband said he backed Mr Murphy’s pledge to use the proceeds to fund 1,000 extra nurses.
He said: “Some of the powerful, the super-rich and the famous are going to protest a lot more. But this week a house in London went on the market for £300 million. When homes costing hundreds of millions of pounds pay the same property tax as homes a fraction of that value, the case for the mansion tax to fund the NHS is getting stronger and stronger by the day.
“I back Jim because he is right to prioritise the NHS with 1,000 extra nurses given the crisis we see in the National Health Service.’
He also sought to pitch the election as a presidential-style contest between “David Cameron and Ed Miliband”.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS