John Swinney says SNP are to the "left" of Labour as he likens Keir Starmer to Liz Truss

First Minister John Swinney has claimed the SNP he leads is to the “left” of Labour under Keir Starmer.

Swinney accused the Labour leader of singing from the same “right wing hymn sheet” as Tories like Liz Truss and Boris Johnson on Brexit.

The SNP and Labour are locked in a bitter two-way scrap for dozens of seats at the general election.

Labour only won a single seat in 2019, with the Nationalists romping home with 48, but the polls show Starmer’s party in the lead.

In an article for the Record, Swinney, who is expected to be a regular visitor to the Central Belt during the campaign, lashed out at Starmer.

He said Scots are facing a “triple crisis” caused by austerity, Brexit and the cost of living, but claimed Labour offered little in the way of solutions.

He wrote: “Fourteen years of austerity - which was started by Labour and carried on by the Tory government, have cut through the very fabric of our communities.

"Unbelievably, Sir Keir Starmer seems to want to continue with austerity. Yes, the party that has been the Official Opposition in the House of Commons since 2010 has no alternative.

"Sir Keir won’t end the hated two-child benefit cap introduced by the Tories. How can a Labour Leader support a scrap on the cap for bankers’ bonuses but not of the abhorrent two-child cap? It is beyond comprehension."

The SNP Government has been widely criticised for its domestic record, but Swinney defended the policies of the last few years.

He wrote: “This vision could not be further from the lurch to the right of the Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer.

“Sir Keir Starmer, once a proud Remainer, hasn’t just ditched his position - he’s now an avowed Brexiteer who pretends that Brexit can work.

"He’s singing from the same right-wing Tory hymn sheet as Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson.”

He claimed Labour offers no “reprieve” from the cost of living crisis and backs Tory tax and spending plans.

Swinney added: “We're to the left of Sir Keir Starmer's Labour Party.”

Baillie said: "We know from our conversations on the doorsteps that Scots cannot afford another five years of this rotten Tory government.

"But the SNP's willingness to put party before country has also contributed to the broken status quo.

"While the SNP hikes taxes for nurses and opposes a windfall tax on oil and gas giants, Labour is coming up with a serious energy transition plan including a windfall tax and creating at least 69,000 clean energy jobs.

"Under the SNP, Scotland has become the zero-hours contract capital of the UK but Labour would ban exploitative zero-hours contracts and make work pay.

"No matter how you voted in the last election, or the one before that, or in the referendums – if you agree that our country needs change, then Labour is ready to deliver it.

"A vote for Labour isn't a vote to send a message but a government in the service of working people with Scottish Labour at its heart, delivering the change Scotland needs."

A new poll by Savanta showed Scottish Labour is on course for huge gains at the general election at the expense of the SNP.

Projections show Anas Sarwar’s party is in line to win 28 seats while the SNP will slump to 18.

The findings are in line with a recent Survation poll which showed Labour on 36 per cent and the SNP on 32 per cent.

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