Labour Government will work in 'partnership' with the SNP, says Rachel Reeves

A Labour government would work in "partnership" with the SNP, Rachel Reeves has said.

The Shadow Chancellor used a visit to Edinburgh to insist Westminster would "work in conjunction" with the Scottish Government following next month's general election.

The MP also said that Labour would be able to deliver more in Scotland if it elected more Scottish MPs.

She added that "there'll be no return to austerity" under Labour she refused to say how much more money Scotland would receive.

Reeves was talking after a Q&A session with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar at NatWest Group's Scottish campus in west Edinburgh.

Sarwar had said in the Q&A that Labour would not "pick fights" with the SNP if it wins the general election.

When asked if this is what UK Labour would do, Reeves said: "We want a partnership approach. We're only going to realise the potential of the whole UK economy if people in all parts of the UK - every nation and region - are given the opportunity to participate and play their part.

"So we would work with the government here and hope in the future that a Labour government in Westminster would be able to work with a Labour government here in Scotland.

"Because there's so many opportunities there.

"But also, if people in Scotland want change, and they want Scotland to be part of that change, the more Scottish Labour MPs that we have working with a Labour government in Westminster, the more we can deliver for Scotland."

Reeves was also asked about analysis from think tanks which has suggested that current Labour spending plans would result in a budget blackhole of £18bn.

The SNP have said that this means there would be further budget cuts under Labour.

But Reeves rejected this.

She said: "There'll be no return to austerity under a Labour government.

"We've already set out the immediate injection of cash that we will put into our public services.

"But then our plans are all around growing the economy, bringing back stability, investment through a modern industrial strategy, national wealth fund, GB Energy and then reform.

"Obviously a UK Government working in conjunction on reform with a Scottish Government."

She added: "In the end, it's only through growing the economy that you have money to invest in frontline public services while also tackling the cost-of-living crisis."

Reeves would not say how much more money a Labour government would give Scotland.

She said: "We've set out our limited tax increases to put an immediate injection of cash into public services.

"That includes the £1.5 billion that we would raise from putting VAT and business rates on private school fees, the money from extending the windfall tax that we would invest in GB Energy and the national wealth fund, the changes around how private equity bosses' bonuses are taxed and also cracking down on tax avoidance and ensuring non-doms pay their fair share of tax.

"Those are the only tax increases that we need to fund our plans.

"And of course, all of those come with consequentials for the Scottish Government."

When pushed to give a figure, she said: "In the first steps it sets out, for example, 160,000 additional appointments every year in the NHS by tackling tax avoidance and closing the non-dom tax loophole."

To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here