Pack in the fight­ing and let’s gang up to crush Ruth’s Tories

Euro MP Martin calls for a fu­ture Labour-SNP coali­tion

Daily Record - - NEWS - ANDY PHILIP a.philip@dai­

A SE­NIOR Labour fig­ure has made an “un­think­able” call for his party to pre­pare for a coali­tion deal with the SNP to keep out the Tories.

David Martin, an MEP for more than 30 years, said it’s time to look to a fu­ture pact to block Ruth David­son’s Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tives get­ting into power at Holy­rood.

How­ever, Labour lead­er­ship can­di­dates Anas Sar­war and Richard Leonard last night re­jected the idea.

A Labour-SNP deal at Holy­rood would not be unique – the par­ties have run Ed­in­burgh City Coun­cil for years.

Martin made the com­ment in an in­ter­view in Stras­bourg, say­ing Scot­tish pol­i­tics is too tribal.

He said: “We are far away from the next Holy­rood elec­tions but I think the ground­work should be be­ing laid now for a po­ten­tial SNP-Labour coali­tion that to many will seem un­think­able.”

Martin said dif­fer­ences on in­de­pen­dence should be put to one side so they can work on health, ed­u­ca­tion and tax­a­tion.

Any deal, he went on, would only be set up to cre­ate a work­ing ma­jor­ity to block Tories from gain­ing in­flu­ence at Holy­rood.

He added: “There are sig­nals, very weak sig­nals, that the real hate – and it was hate – be­tween Labour and the SNP is be­gin­ning to weaken.

“Be­ing on the same side in the Brexit ref­er­en­dum has ac­tu­ally helped that.”

Martin has al­ready strayed from the party line by re­fus­ing to rule out sup­port for in­de­pen­dence once the terms of Brexit are known.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith wel­comed the idea. He said: “I don’t think an SNP-Labour coali­tion is un­think­able. Such a coali­tion runs Scot­land’s cap­i­tal.”

But Sar­war said: “I am a so­cial­ist, not a na­tion­al­ist, and there is sim­ply noth­ing pro­gres­sive about the SNP.

“I see the mis­ery the SNP has in­flicted on my com­mu­nity in Glas­gow and across Scot­land, with £1.5bil­lion of cuts to lo­cal ser­vices since 2011.”

And a spokesman for Leonard said: “We’re cam­paign­ing for Labour to win. Talk about coali­tions or pacts is a dis­trac­tion.”

A Labour spokesman said: “We plan on re­plac­ing the SNP as the next Scot­tish govern­ment.”

SIG­NALS Martin be­lieves change is com­ing

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