Clegg rules out agree­ment with Scot­tish na­tion­al­ists in UK vote

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

UK Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib­eral Democrats and po­ten­tial king­maker in next month’s gen­eral elec­tion on Satur­day ruled out a coali­tion with the cen­ter-left Labour Party if it re­quired sup­port from Scot­tish na­tion­al­ists.

“I to­tally rule out any ar­range­ments with the Scot­tish Na­tional Party (SNP) be­cause there is no meet­ing point for me with one party that ba­si­cally wants to pull our coun­try to bits,” he was quoted as say­ing by the Fi­nan­cial Times.

With nei­ther the cen­ter-right Con­ser­va­tive Party, who led the last coali­tion with the Lib Dems as ju­nior part­ners, nor the Labour Party look­ing likely to achieve an out­right victory on May 7, all par­ties are work­ing on their strate­gies for the post-elec­tion power strug­gle.

One of the sce­nar­ios would see Ed Miliband’s Labour seek­ing the sup­port of Ni­cola Stur­geon’s SNP, which is ex­pected to make huge gains at Labour’s ex­pense north of the bor­der, but Miliband has ruled out a for­mal coali­tion. The SNP fa­vors Scot­land leav­ing the United King­dom.

Clegg told the Fi­nan­cial Times that he “would never rec­om­mend to the Lib­eral Democrats that we help es­tab­lish a gov­ern­ment which is ba­si­cally on a life-sup­port sys­tem, where (in­flu­en­tial for­mer SNP leader) Alex Sal­mond could pull the plug any time he wants. No, no, no.”

The com­ments will boost Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, who is likely to need Lib Dem back­ing if he is to form a gov­ern­ment, although Clegg’s party has sunk in the polls since the last elec­tion af­ter team­ing up with the Con­ser­va­tives.

Polls sug­gest the SNP will win be­tween 40 and 50 of the 59 seats of par­lia­men­tary seats in Scot­land, where Labour had 41 MPs last term. Scot­land is one of four na­tions in the United King­dom. The other three are Eng­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land.

The May 7 gen­eral elec­tion will see 650 seats up for grabs na­tion­wide.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.