Pack in the fighting and let’s gang up to crush Ruth’s Tories
Euro MP Martin calls for a future Labour-SNP coalition
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