Keir Starmer has emphatically rejected any prospect of Labor working in a coalition with the SNP at a local or national level in the future.
The Labor leader visited Possilpark in north Glasgow today as his party steps up his campaign ahead of next month’s council elections.
The SNP seized control of Scotland’s largest local authority in 2017 but its administration has been rocked by industrial action by refuse workers and the closure of leisure services due to covid.
Starmer accused the Nationalists of using “the constitutional issue to mask their own failures” when it came to health and education across the country.
And the Leader of the Opposition at Westminster also firmly rejected any prospect of Labor coalition deals after the council elections forming with the SNP.
Scottish Labor has worked alongside Nicola Sturgeon’s party at a local level on several councils including Edinburgh – but those days appear to be numbered.
Asked about the SNP’s record in power, Starmer said: “The SNP do what they always do – which is to try to use the constitutional issue to mask their own failures.
“You don’t need to scratch away much when it comes to wages, health and education of people in Scotland to see the failure that is the SNP Government.
“The distraction tactic – only speaking about the constitution, when people want to know how they are going to pay their energy bills – is not going to work.
“I think, as Labor puts practical plans on the table, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we are the party with answers to the issues that are uttermost in people’s minds.”
Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar – who accompanied Starmer on his visit to the home of Glasgow Perthshire Football Club – claimed the SNP had been a “disaster” for the city.
But Susan Aitken yesterday branded Labor “foolish” for ruling out possible coalition deals with the SNP after next month’s elections.
The Glasgow City Council leader said: “Anas Sarwar has said Labor won’t do any deals with the SNP. I think that is very foolish I’ve got to say.”
She added: “There are some pretty well functioning SNP and Labor administrations, Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, Stirling, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife. There’s quite a few of them.”
Asked by the Record if there would be no coalition involving Labor in Glasgow or anywhere else, an emphatic Starmer said: “No coalition.
“No coalition between Labor and the SNP at the local level or the national level.
“Going into this General Election let me be absolutely clear – no deal going into the General Election no deal the other side of it.
“I could not be clearer about this and I hope no one misses my message about this.”
Anas Sarwar said: “The whole point is we want to see Susan Aitken out of the leader’s office in the City Chambers, not keep her in.
“It would be a disaster for Glasgow. The SNP are a disaster for Glasgow, and we want to boot them out.”
To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here.