THE SNP is offering a hand of friendship to the UK with a fist behind its back to deliver the “knockout blow to break Britain apart”, former prime minister Gordon Brown has warned.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon yesterday extended a message of “friendship and solidarity” to the rest of the UK in her keynote speech to the SNP conference.
Brown warned that the SNP’s only goal remains Scottish independence, during a campaign speech at Liberton High School, in Edinburgh, supporting local candidate Ian Murray. He attacked the SNP for never proposing an income tax rise to fund the NHS and pledging to cut corporation tax.
However, Labour activists said they are struggling to counter the message that the SNP is an anti-Trident party which will stand up for Scotland at Westminster.
One Labour activist asked how to respond to the SNP’s “progressive” mantra, while another said “the SNP seems to be winning the rhetoric”.
Brown, who stands down as an MP tomorrow, said: “Mrs Sturgeon is announcing today that she is offering the hand of friendship to the rest of the people of Britain.
“I know that this means to offer the right hand of friendship to keep the left hand free to deliver the knockout blow to break Britain apart.”
Brown said: “Who would you trust with the NHS… the Labour Party that was prepared to go to the people of the country, as I had to do at the beginning of the century, and say: ‘We have to raise taxes/national insurance so that we can pay for a better health service in the future?’
“Or the SNP or any other party in Scotland, who have never bothered to ask the Scottish people to put more money into the NHS?”
An aide to Edinburgh East Labour MP Sheila Gilmore asked what the best answer was to people who said they had left the Labour Party and were going to vote SNP to get a bigger voice for Scotland at Westminster.
Brown said: “The surest way to get a Labour government is by voting Labour, and not voting for someone else.”
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