Labour ‘would consider’ deal over Indyref 2

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Rachel Wat­son

THE Shadow Chan­cel­lor yes­ter­day ad­mit­ted Labour would ‘consider’ al­low­ing the SNP to call an­other in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

Dur­ing a visit to Glas­gow, John McDon­nell also re­fused to rule out a pos­si­ble ‘con­fi­dence and sup­ply’ deal with Ni­cola Stur­geon’s party if Labour failed to win an over­all ma­jor­ity af­ter the next gen­eral elec­tion.

The key ally of Jeremy Cor­byn was in Scot­land only 24 hours af­ter Scot­tish Labour leader Richard Leonard pledged any fu­ture man­i­festo would in­clude a prom­ise to op­pose Indyref 2.

Ad­mit­ting that Mr Cor­byn could grant Miss Stur­geon a Sec­tion 30 or­der – to al­low the Scot­tish Govern­ment to call a ref­er­en­dum – Mr McDon­nell said: ‘Jeremy and I met with Ni­cola Stur­geon two weeks ago, it was purely about the Brexit is­sue. We had a dis­cus­sion where we shared our views on op­pos­ing no-deal and se­condly op­pos­ing Theresa May’s deal as well. That was it, no fur­ther.

‘We draft our man­i­festos demo­crat­i­cally. In the last man­i­festo we said we op­posed [in­de­pen­dence] full stop, and we want to unite a coun­try that will con­cen­trate on those is­sues. I can’t Deputy Scot­tish Po­lit­i­cal Editor see that pol­icy chang­ing. What we are try­ing to do is deal with the two cru­cial is­sues at the mo­ment – one is Brexit and the other is try­ing to trans­form our econ­omy. All the rest is a com­plete dis­trac­tion.

‘If it [per­mis­sion for an in­de­pen­dence vote] arises then we will consider it then, but it’s hy­po­thet­i­cal at the mo­ment.’

Mr McDon­nell said there would be no of­fi­cial coali­tion be­tween Labour and the SNP if

‘A coali­tion of chaos’

his party failed to get a ma­jor­ity at West­min­ster.

Asked about a pos­si­ble ‘con­fi­dence and sup­ply’ deal – sim­i­lar to that of the Tories and the DUP – he said: ‘When we win the next elec­tion we will win a sig­nif­i­cant ma­jor­ity.

‘If we were in a mi­nor­ity po­si­tion we would gov­ern as a mi­nor­ity govern­ment. We would lay out our man­i­festo and pro­pos­als and it would be for the other par­ties to sup­port them or not.’ Scot­tish Tory MP Colin Clark said: ‘This is the same old weak po­si­tion on the Union from Labour.

‘We all know what Ni­cola Stur­geon’s price would be to prop up Jeremy Cor­byn in Num­ber 10 – but Cor­byn’s deputy can’t even con­firm that op­po­si­tion to a sec­ond vote will be in the Labour man­i­festo.

‘It is a recipe for a coali­tion of chaos – and it shows what lit­tle clout Richard Leonard has with the Labour hi­er­ar­chy.’

Scot­tish visit: John McDon­nell speak­ing in Glas­gow yes­ter­day

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