Alexander hits out at SNP allegations over Tory rule

DOUGLAS Alexander has ­attacked the SNP’s suggestion that Scotland is in permanent danger of Tory rule from Westminster as he insisted the 2015 General Election is “quintessentially winnable” for Labour.

Douglas Alexander. Picture: Allan Milligan

Alexander, who is the MP in charge of Labour’s general election campaign, said the Tories were in “wholesale retreat” as he said the party had not won an overall majority since 1992.

The shadow foreign secretary, speaking at the Scottish Labour conference in Perth yesterday, said the party’s defeat at the 2010 general election came in the wake of the expenses scandal at Westminster and the “worst economic crisis for 60 years”.

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Alexander said: “Even in those circumstances David Cameron couldn’t win a majority Conservative government. The Conservatives haven’t managed a majority in a Westminster election now for more than 20 years.”

The Labour MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South said that in large parts of the UK the Tories had no electoral presence as he rejected SNP suggestions that the rest of the UK could outvote Scotland at the next election and re-elect David Cameron as Prime Minister.

He claimed the Tories were “in wholesale retreat across the United Kingdom”.

Labour’s shadow international development secretary, Jim Murphy, speaking after Alexander, said independence would be a “disruptive shock” for the nation on the same scale as the oil crisis of the 1970s or the financial crisis that sparked the global recession.

Murphy, the Labour MP for East Renfrewshire, said: “There have been three enormous, disruptive shocks – the oil crisis of the 1970s, the industrial crisis and shock of Thatcher in the 1980s, and the financial shock of 2008.

“Scotland is now faced with the potential for a fourth shock of that nature – Scottish independence.”