Politics

Keir Starmer attacks ‘joined at the hip’ SNP and Tories

NICOLA Sturgeon and Boris Johnson are “joined at the hip,” Keir Starmer is expected to tell delegates at the Scottish Labour conference.

He’s set to use his speech today to criticise the two governments for turning every election into a referendum on independence. 

Because of the pandemic, it’s Scottish Labour’s first conference since 2019, which means it’s the first opportunity Starmer has had to address the party faithful since replacing Jeremy Corbyn two years ago. 

In his speech, the UK Labour leader will look to put some distance between him and his predecessor, pledging a more business-friendly focus for the party. 

Starmer is also expected to criticise the recent ScotWind bidding round, accusing the SNP of “selling Scotland’s offshore wind to every foreign energy interest imaginable.”   

He is expected to say: “Labour in power is always power exercised in partnership with the people. 

“But because this government is so distracted it has no plan for household finances and no economic planning at all.   

“And I ask you, what do these Tories and the SNP have in common? Well, beyond being joined at the hip in their desire to see every election turned into the same referendum again, and again. 

“They have no industrial strategy that is good enough to meet the challenge of our age.   Neither have the credible policies we need to create and sustain decent jobs. 

“Decades in power between them and neither of these governments have done enough to secure the jobs and industries of the future on our shores.

“The so-called party of British business is barely able to talk to business. Whilst the party of North Sea nationalism is now selling Scotland’s offshore wind to every foreign energy interest imaginable.   

“So, we also have a new opportunity now. To have a Labour government that will be in partnership with business to create work. 

“Instead of a Tory government that treats British business with disdain, disinterest and disrespect. Because Labour is the party of work, we always have been.   

“There is no challenge ahead of us, whether its automation or climate change, that we cannot rise to.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Scottish Labour are currently in coalition with the SNP in six councils across Scotland.

“In Wales, Labour have struck an even closer deal with the nationalist party.

“If anyone is joined at the hip, it’s Labour and nationalists across the UK.”

Starmer’s speech comes as a new poll suggests that only one-third of Scots want a vote on independence within the next two years and that the country is still evenly divided on the constitution, with 51 per cent backing the union, and 49 per cent supporting independence.

The Savanta-ComRes survey for The Economist found a third of Scots felt it would be wrong for the Supreme Court to decide whether a referendum can take place.

It also found that the majority of voters were certain about their view on Scotland’s place in the UK. 

Asked on a scale of zero (not certain at all) to ten (absolutely certain) about how they would vote, only ten per cent gave a score of less than six.

 

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