Nicola Sturgeon says SNP will prop up Labour government if Jeremy Corbyn edges into power
The SNP could end up teaming up with Labour in the event of a hung Parliament next week, Nicola Sturgeon has suggested.
Scotland’s First Minister said she would want the SNP to be part of a “progressive alternative to a Conservative government”, hinting that her party could potentially end up working with Labour.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Sturgeon ruled out the possibility of a formal coalition, but said the SNP would work with other left-leaning parties on an “issue-by-issue” basis.
“If there was to be a hung parliament, if the parliamentary arithmetic allowed it, then I would want the SNP to be part of a progressive alternative to a Conservative government,” she said.
“Not in a coalition, I don’t envisage any formal coalitions, but on an issue-by-issue basis to put forward progressive policies and to see a progressive agenda.”
Ms Sturgeon predicted that Tories would win the election, despite seeing a reduction in their majority that would put Scotland “centre stage”.
She said: “My reading of the polls says that Theresa May and the Tories are still on the track to win this election but they are no longer certain to get a bigger majority in this election.
And actually in that scenario Scotland becomes centre stage and potentially has a pivotal and decisive role to play because it could be the case that what determines whether or not Theresa May has a bigger majority is the outcome of the election in Scotland.”
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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale dismissed the comments, saying Mr Corbyn had ruled out doing any such deal with the SNP.
She told the programme: “He absolutely 100% refuted any prospect of a deal, a coalition or a pact with the SNP for two fundamental reasons.”
She said: “One, he doesn’t believe that the SNP are a progressive party, so you can’t have a progressive alliance with a party, for example, that refuses to tax the rich and ask them to pay their fair share.
“Also Jeremy Corbyn accepts there is nothing progressive about trying to break up the United Kingdom.”