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Labour will not make a deal with the Scottish National Party before or after the next general election, Sir Keir Starmer has said.
The Labour leader, speaking after a Durham Police investigation found that he did not break Covid regulations during a visit to the city while campaigning last year, made a fresh pitch to voters, stressing his own integrity and vision for the country.
As part of that pitch, Sir Keir told reporters that he could rule out a coalition with a party that wanted to put a border between England and Scotland.
Sir Keir, still fresh from a by-election victory in Wakefield last month and speaking the day after Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative leader, said that Labour is ready to win a general election.
The Labour leader and his deputy Angela Rayner had promise to resign if they received fines in relation to the gathering in the offices of a local Labour MP in April 2021.
But after reopening an inquiry into the event, where Sir Keir was picture drinking from a bottle of beer, Durham Police found there was no case to answer regarding any of the participants.
In a statement, Durham Police said the restrictions in place at the time on social gatherings had not been violated due to the application of an exception “namely reasonably necessary for work”.
The finding will come as a relief for Labour, as well as a boost after an extraordinary few days in British politics after Cabinet ministers and Tory MPs forced Mr Johnson to stand down.
With Conservative candidates gearing up for a contest to replace Mr Johnson as Prime Minister, Sir Keir said that Labour was planning to govern alone after the next election.
He was adamant that he was neither seeking a deal with the SNP nor would he enter into one.
He also played down the prospect of a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition.
In a speech in London, he said it was an “in-principle position” that he would not do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s party.
“There will be no deal going into a general election and no deal coming out of a general election. And that’s not just about a numbers game as far as I’m concerned. I want to be Prime Minister for the whole of the United Kingdom.
“I want a Labour government for the whole of the United Kingdom. There is no basis, no basis, for an alliance, with a party who wants to break up the United Kingdom.
“I want to grow the economy. There’s no basis for an alliance with a party that thinks the answer to grow the economy is to put a border between England and Scotland.
“There is no basis for an alliance under a Keir Starmer government between Labour and the SNP.”
Sir Keir also insisted that he wanted a Labour majority in the House of Commons, not reliant on the Liberal Democrats.
“We want a Labour majority. We want to deliver on our mission and that is what we are going to do. We are fighting for a majority Labour government to deliver our mission.”