Keir Starmer wins standing ovation from Labour conference as he vows not to work with SNP

Keir Starmer said the SNP did not want to see Scotland succeed in the UK
Keir Starmer said the SNP did not want to see Scotland succeed in the UK

KEIR Starmer won a standing ovation from Labour Party members after he said that under no circumstances will Labour work with the SNP.

Talking at the Labour conference in Liverpool, the party leader said the SNP did not want to see Scotland thrive within the UK.

He said the SNP saw Scotland’s success in the Union as a “roadblock to independence”.

He told party members: “Labour will make Brexit work. Labour will deliver change. You’ll never get that from the Tories. And you won’t get it from the SNP either.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer promises Great British Energy company within first year of power

“Conference, the challenges we face – the cost-of-living crisis, climate change, standing up to Putin – are common across our four nations.

“We saw off the threat of fascism and deadly disease, together. We built the NHS and the welfare state, together. But I don’t believe in our union just because of our history. I believe in it because of our future.”

Starmer said Scotland needs a Labour government that can deliver change, which won him another standing ovation.

He added: “But [Scotland] also needs the power and resources to shape its own future, whoever’s in power in Westminster.

“And the SNP are not interested in this.

“For them, Scotland’s success in the UK is met with gritted teeth, seen as a roadblock to independence, and so, they stand in the way.

“We can’t work with them. We won’t work with them. No deal under any circumstances."

Starmer promised "a fairer, greener, more dynamic Scotland in a fairer, greener, more dynamic, Labour Britain".

The SNP said that Starmer's speech confirmed "once again" that independence is the only route to escape a Conservative government.

Keir Starmer said Labour would deliver a fairer, greener Scotland within the UK

Responding to Starmer, the party's Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald, said: "Keir Starmer's remarks not only failed to set out anything new or of substance to Scotland, they also reaffirmed yet again that only with independence will we be able to escape damaging Westminster control and repeated Tory governments for good."

Oswald accused Labour of "turning into the Tories" by adopting a hardline stance on Brexit, which she said denied Scotland the right to choose its own future.

The SNP MP said Labour had "prioritised grubby council coalitions with the Tories across Scotland".

She continued: "Rehashed reports of constitutional tinkering provide absolutely no protection against Westminster austerity, naked power grabs and repeated Tory governments we don't vote for.

"While Labour has slid into irrelevance in Scotland, the SNP will continue to stand up for Scotland's interests.

"The reality is that only with independence will we be able to build a fairer society and escape damaging Westminster control and harmful policies we don't vote for."

The Labour leader promised he would "make Brexit work" as he hammered the Tories on their record on the economy.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer promises Great British Energy company within first year of power

In an appeal to Brexit voters, Starmer said those who voted to leave the European Union in 2016 had been let down.

He told the Labour conference: “The policy of my Labour government will always be to make Brexit work. It’s no secret I voted Remain – as the Prime Minister did.

“But what I heard, around the country, was people who thought we’d got our priorities wrong; who wanted democratic control over their lives but who also wanted opportunities for the next generation, communities they felt proud of, public services they could rely on.”

Starmer said he did not hear that Brexit was about “slashing workers’ rights” or lowering food standards, or ending redistribution.