Nicola Sturgeon accuses Labour of 'giving two fingers' to Scotland by not backing SNP

Labour has “given the proverbial two fingers to Scotland” by ruling out any kind of coalition with the SNP, Ms Sturgeon claims

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The Scottish First Minister unveiled the second in a series of papers making a fresh case for Scotland to leave the UK in Edinburgh's Bute House on Thursday.

Ms Sturgeon was also quizzed on the likelihood of coalitions being formed with Sir Keir Starmer’s party in Westminster.

On a visit north of the border last week, the Labour leader said: “There is no basis for an alliance with a party whose sole focus is on breaking up the United Kingdom, and therefore it’s not going to happen."

He added: “No deal in, no deal out.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Sir Keir has previously stated that he would “absolutely rule out” an alliance between the SNP and Labour in the event of a general election.

But Ms Sturgeon said that while she understands “Labour doesn’t like the SNP”, her party has won every election held in Scotland in the last decade.

She said this makes her party Scotland's “chosen government, Scotland’s party of choice”.

The country's First Minister added: “When you have Labour saying they will never work with the SNP or the SNP is somehow beyond the pale, whether or not they want to acknowledge that, what they are doing is just disrespecting Scotland’s democratic choices.

“In the pursuit of votes from the Tories in England, they’ve effectively given the proverbial two fingers to Scotland.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Ms Sturgeon went on to suggest Labour’s message to the people of Scotland is that they “don’t really care about you, you’re just lobby fodder”.

She added: “I think Labour should understand, by now, that this is not a view that goes down particularly well in Scotland.

“So, that’s their choice, but they shouldn’t be surprised if that kind of attitude keeps delivering them the kind of election results that they’ve seen in the past 15 years or so.”

But Ms Sturgeon's pitch today has not gone down well with her political rivals.

Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said: “This speech was the height of SNP self-indulgence and distraction.

“Nicola Sturgeon is all too happy to shamefully use her podium at Bute House to push her political obsession and have valuable civil servants’ time and resources wasted on working on the SNP’s only priority.

“She knows the vast majority of people in Scotland don’t want another divisive independence referendum next year.

“They want her Government focused on tackling the global cost-of-living crisis, helping our NHS to get through the ever-increasing backlogs in treatment and supporting our post-pandemic recovery.

“Yet, instead of getting on with the job at hand, she is using her official residence to spout SNP propaganda, which will only paralyse Scotland with years of bitter division and distraction.”