Sturgeon ‘getting into bed with Corbyn’ to win indyref2, Chancellor claims

Nicola Sturgeon is preparing to “get into bed” with Jeremy Corbyn to win a Scottish independence referendum, the Chancellor has claimed.

Sajid Javid used a visit to Scotland to criticise both the SNP leader and her “far-left allies in the Labour Party”, which he claimed is “riddled” with anti-Semitism.

Campaigning in Stirling – one of the SNP’s top targets in next month’s General Election – he spoke about the “chaotic” impact of a Government led by Mr Corbyn and supported by Ms Sturgeon.

POLITICS Election Stirling
(PA Graphics)

While Mr Corbyn has ruled out allowing Scotland to have a second vote on independence in the “early years” of a Labour administration, the Chancellor claimed such a vote would take place next year.

He said the UK would also have to deal with a “divisive” second referendum on Brexit.

“If Corbyn can’t get a majority he will absolutely have an alliance with Nicola Sturgeon, they have already had discussions, they have already agreed they would have another divisive referendum on Brexit but also a divisive referendum on independence,” Mr Javid said.

“That would be chaotic, two referendums in the UK in 2020, and Nicola Sturgeon will have to accept that yes she might get her beloved referendum with a Corbyn/Sturgeon alliance but she will getting into bed with a individual that has serious issue with Britain’s Jewish community, who has been caught time and time again denigrating the Jewish community and has a problem of anti-Semitism riddled throughout his party.

“She would be supporting such an individual and she would have to explain how she can prop up someone like that who, just a couple of days ago, the Chief Rabbi was moved to say was not fit for office.”

He underlined the Conservatives’ opposition to a second independence ballot and said Scots had a choice between the “division” being offered by the SNP or the Conservatives, who he insisted were “delivering for Scotland”.

“This is the stark choice facing the Scottish people,” the Chancellor said.

“They can either chose to have Scottish Conservatives that are delivering for Scottish people, removing uncertainty whether it is the indy referendum, getting Brexit sorted … and also supporting taxpayers with our cuts in taxes.

“That’s delivery from the Scottish Conservatives. Or it is division from the SNP.

“The most divisive thing they have brought to this election is their demand for a second independence referendum.”

He added: “When the last referendum took place in 2014 everyone agreed, including Nicola Sturgeon, that it was a once in generation event.

“It was right to have the referendum then, the Scottish people spoke, gave a very clear verdict that they wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

“Now, I know five or six years have passed since then, but it is not a new generation.

“And it is wrong to have this referendum again, we are absolutely against it, we think it is divisive and we will not support it.”

He criticised the SNP’s record, attacking the Scottish Government’s performance in key areas such as education, the NHS and policing.

2019 SNP Autumn Conference – Aberdeen
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Javid also claimed the SNP were to blame for the delays in the Scottish budget – which has been held up because of the UK General Election.

Scotland Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has complained he is unable to put together his tax and spending plans for 2020-21 until after the new year.

But the Chancellor said the SNP’s role in delaying Brexit meant they were responsible for this situation.

He said: “Normally we would have had a UK Budget by now, that would have meant it would have been more straightforward to have a Scottish budget.

“But the responsibility for not having that budget, either in the UK or Scotland, lies firmly and squarely with the SNP and Labour.

“The SNP are responsible, along with Labour and the Lib Dems, for the paralysis that has taken hold of our Parliament.

“It is that paralysis that has meant the country has been unable to move forward and get Brexit sorted, and we have been unable as Parliament to make other major decisions, including a national Budget.”

He added: “It’s a bit rich of Nicola Sturgeon to complain and say ‘our budget process in Scotland is being held up because of the UK’ because she is partly responsible for it.

“It is not the Conservative Government in Westminster that is responsible for it, it is Nicola Sturgeon and her far-left allies in the Labour Party.”

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