General Election 2019: Lib Dems call for Labour to 'stand aside' in Scotland

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The escalating row among parties over who should contest which seat at next month's general election took a further twist as the Lib Dems called for Labour to "stand aside" in Scotland.

Willie Rennie said the party north of the Border had been left "humiliated" by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his recent comments regarding a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Willie Rennie said Labour had been "humiliated" by Jeremy Corbyn

Willie Rennie said Labour had been "humiliated" by Jeremy Corbyn

The Lib Dems believe they stand the best chance among the pro-Union parties of winning several marginal seats currently held by the Nationalists, with North East Fife - won by Stephen Gethins in 2017 with a majority of just two - top of their list.

Debate has raged in recent weeks among the parties and their activists on where electoral resources should be concentrated. A non-aggression pact between the Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru has been widely discussed in Wales, but so far no similar deals have been reached in Scotland.

The Scottish Greens faced criticism from Nationalists after confirming last week they would stand in Perth and North Perthshire - held by veteran SNP MP Pete Wishart with a majority of just 21.

READ MORE: Tory MP Ross Thomson quits as election candidate

Mr Rennie, Lib Dem leader in Scotland, said: “Scottish Labour say that they oppose another independence referendum and want to remain in the EU but they have been put in their place by Jeremy Corbyn. He told them that their policy was wrong.

“Richard Leonard and his colleagues cannot stand on a platform that they so clearly reject. Voters will not know which of them to believe: Scottish Labour or Jeremy Corbyn.

“It is utterly humiliating for Scottish Labour to be repeatedly over-ruled on such important matters. If they have any pride left they should just opt out of this election, as they will be humiliated by the voters too.

“In the European Elections earlier this year Scottish Labour plummeted to fifth place losing lots of votes to the Liberal Democrats helping us win a seat.

“But there is a home for all those Labour voters who want Scotland in the UK and the UK in the EU. The Liberal Democrats have remained steadfast against Brexit and another independence referendum, and Jo Swinson backs us too.”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “This is another characteristically ludicrous rant from Willie Rennie, who earlier this year said he yearned for the return of his party’s disastrous coalition with the Tories.

“Willie Rennie’s outburst is as dishonest as his party’s bar charts. Labour is united in our opposition to Scottish independence and in our belief that the only way to end the Brexit deadlock is to give the people the final say. The choice at this election is between Boris Johnson’s privileged Tories and a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, which will invest £70 billion in Scotland’s people and end the Brexit chaos.”