General Election 2019: No help from SNP without independence referendum

The SNP will only support a Prime Minister who enters into talks on holding a second independence referendum, the party’s deputy Westminster leader has said.

SNP Westminster deputy leader Kirsty Blackman
SNP Westminster deputy leader Kirsty Blackman

Kirsty Blackman, the Aberdeen North MP, said the party “won’t be going into coalition with anyone, but if anyone wants to work with us, they need to pick up the phone and talk to us about that Section 30 order.”

The comments came on the first day of a snap general election campaign which the SNP say will have “Scotland’s right to choose” at its heart.

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she will formally request the power to hold a second independence referendum under Section 30 of the Scotland Act before the end of the year.

In a softening of Scottish Labour’s stance against another referendum, Jeremy Corbyn has said he would not block a second vote on Scotland’s future at Westminster, but insists Labour would not allow one “in the formative years” of a new administration.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have also insisted they will not enter into any coalitions, and would not help to put either Mr Corbyn or Boris Johnson into Downing Street.

Lib Dem MP Ed Davey said the party “will never enter coalition with Jeremy Corbyn, but we also won't enter a coalition with Boris Johnson.”

Hitting out at the Labour leader, Mr Davey told Sky News: "First of all, Jeremy Corbyn is the most calamitous leader of the Labour Party and the worst leader of the opposition ever.

"He has failed to unite his party. He's failed to stand up for the country on Brexit. He actually is personally in favour of Brexit."

Mr Davey later told the BBC: “We want to win by ourselves. We believe that is possible.

“There has never been a moment in British politics when the elections been so volatile. We’ve seen life long Conservative supporters come to us, life long Labour voters come to us as well.”