Nicola Sturgeon slams Labour “No” to SNP deal

PEOPLE across Scotland, including Labour voters, have been “appalled” at Ed Miliband’s refusal to work with the SNP to keep out a Conservative government, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joins SNP Edinburgh East candidate George Kerevan on the campaign trail in Musselburgh. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

The SNP leader said any opportunity to “get the Tories out” should be seized, as she hit out at the Labour leader for saying he would not consider a post-election deal with her party if the General Election results in a hung parliament.

Mr Miliband declared earlier this week: “If the price of a Labour government is a coalition or a deal with the SNP, it is not going to happen.”

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He repeated the statement at a Labour rally in Glasgow last night, adding: “We cannot do a deal with a party that wants to break up the UK when we want to build it up.’’

Ms Sturgeon, who is continuing her whistle-stop helicopter tour of key Scottish constituencies, pledged her party’s MPs would “work to build progressive alliances at Westminster and deliver an end to the cuts”.

She added: “What is now clear is that Ed Miliband does not share the same commitment.”

Speaking in Inverness, she said: “I think people across Scotland, and I’ve spoken to many Labour voters in the last couple of days, who were appalled to hear Ed Miliband suggest on Thursday night that he would rather give up the chance of being prime minister and watch the Tories get back into government than work with the SNP to keep the Tories out.

“If you really want progressive politics and social justice, surely we’ve got to take any opportunity to get the Tories out.”

The Scottish First Minister was today surrounded by hundreds of supporters in the Highland capital on the final weekend of campaigning before the May 7 poll.

She said: “It’s fantastic because, putting party politics aside, it says that people in Scotland are really enthused about politics and that’s wonderful - it’s a legacy of the referendum.

“I also think there is a real appetite in Scotland in this election to make Scotland’s voice heard. My message to people across the country, whether they voted Yes or No, even if they’ve never voted SNP before, regardless of whether they live in urban, rural or island Scotland is on Thursday we can come together as a country and make our voice heard at Westminster like it’s never been heard before and I hope we take that opportunity.”

Inverness proved a popular draw for politicians today, with former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also visiting the city.

Mr Kennedy urged Ms Sturgeon to end the “anxiety” which he said exists over a second independence referendum.

He said: “The uncertainty that exists over another referendum must come to an end. We settled the issue last September and need to move on to the big issues that now face our country.

“Yet Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to rule it out is causing great anxiety. Divisions in communities, economic consequences and the Government taking its eye off the ball are just some of the problems which come with a second referendum.

“Nicola Sturgeon has the power to put all of this uncertainty to bed. All she needs to do is keep the promise she made time and again during the referendum and rule out a second independence vote. Nicola Sturgeon should stop ducking and weaving and give a clear answer.”