SNP are no ‘anti-austerity allies’, Labour to warn voters

Richard Leonard says only Labour is able to unite people on the basis of class. Picture: John Devlin
Richard Leonard says only Labour is able to unite people on the basis of class. Picture: John Devlin
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Scottish Labour chiefs will embark on a drive to warn UK party members that the SNP are “not allies” in the fight against austerity.

It comes after Jeremy Corbyn his week refused to rule out granting a second referendum if he becomes prime minister.

The SNP insisted it was the last Labour government which introduced austerity and that independence will provide a “bright future”.

UK Labour delegates are to receive a briefing from the Scottish party at its conference in Liverpool this week, setting out how the SNP’s recent Growth Commission would be a recipe for widespread cuts under independence. It will be distributed to delegates at key points of the conference.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “We need now to stop dividing people on the basis of nationality and start uniting them on the basis of class, and only Labour is able to do that.”

Mr Leonard will address a Labourlist rally tomorrow night, then give the Scotland report to delegates on Monday, and share a stage with former Labour leader Ed Miliband on Sunday. He will Mr Leonard will also

The Growth Commission set out a more sober economic case for independence, warning of spending restraint for up to a decade to get public spending under control and bring down Scotland’s deficit.
“When Nicola Sturgeon launched her latest blueprint for Scottish Independence she billed it as a ‘Growth Commission’, but in reality it is a cuts commission,” Mr Leonard said.

“It offers a vision of Scotland that people do not want and cannot afford.

“A vision of another decade ruined by needless austerity, with people living, surviving, struggling under the dogma of another deficit reduction plan.

“The cuts commission claims to offer a “clear-sighted analysis of the prospectus for independence”.

“But it is a prospectus based on a hard decade of public spending contraction, and even deeper cuts than those implemented by George Osborne.”

But the claims were dismissed by SNP MSP James Dornan.

“Scottish Labour seem to have forgotten that it was the last Labour government which started imposing austerity – which they pledged would be “deeper and tougher” than anything Thatcher imposed,” he said.

“And it is Labour which is now shamefully rolling over and accepting a damaging Tory Brexit that Scotland did not vote for and which threatens jobs, investment and living standards. And an independent Scotland offers a much brighter future.”