The leader of the SNP at Westminster has said he would ‘relish’ a snap general election as speculation mounted today that the UK electorate could head back to the polls for the third time in four years.
Senior ministers at Westminster have reportedly war-gamed scenarios on how to break the deadlock over the UK’s exit from the European Union, including calling another snap general election.
But Ian Blackford questioned whether Labour or the Tories were ready to face a contest, given the on-going constitutional crisis paralysing decision making in London.
The Nationalist MP did not however rule out the possibility of a pact between the SNP and Jeremy Corbyn’s party if the latter emerged with the most seats following any snap vote.
The last UK poll in 2017 saw Theresa May’s Government lose its majority in the Commons and the SNP lose 21 constituencies north of the Border.
“You’ve really had an outbreak of civil war in the Tory party and, arguably, you’ve had the same thing in the Labour party,” Mr Blackford said in an interview with LBC Radio.
“Neither of these parties can really cope with this. Our politics is broken, I think it’s probably fair to say Britain is broken.
“There’s talk this morning of an election. I’m not sure how either of these parties could cope with an election.”
Asked if his party would vote with Labour in any motion of no confidence, Mr Blackford replied: “We tabled a motion of no confidence before he (Jeremy Corbyn) did. We would do. I would relish an election.”
He continued: “We will work with anyone in order to achieve a progressive alliance across the UK.
“I’m asking the people in Scotland to reflect on the chaos in Westminster. I think it is becoming increasingly clear that if we want to secure our own economic future then that has to be as an independent nation.
“I want the people of Scotland to have the right to be able to choose their own future as circumstances have changed.”
Scottish Conservative chief whip Maurice Golden claimed the “price” of any pact between the SNP and Labour at Westminster would be another independence referendum.
“Quite how Labour repeatedly fail to recognise that is a mystery,” he added. “If Jeremy Corbyn were to sleepwalk into this it would be a disaster for Scotland’s economy.
“This proves yet again that only the Scottish Conservatives can stand up to the SNP.”