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Labour would need to back independence vote for SNP support – Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister said Jeremy Corbyn shouldn’t bother picking up the phone unless he accepts Scotland’s right to choose its own future.

Nicola Sturgeon said she would not work with Labour if it did not support Scotland’s right to choose its future (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon said she would not work with Labour if it did not support Scotland’s right to choose its future (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Lucy Christie, PA Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has told Jeremy Corbyn “don’t even bother picking up the phone” to ask the SNP to support a Labour government unless he backs an independence vote.

Scotland’s First Minister was asked if she would consider a coalition with Labour in the event of a general election that saw it emerge as the largest party, but without an overall majority.

The SNP leader said she would favour a “progressive type of alliance” if the Tories were ousted from power.

If you don’t accept Scotland's right to choose our own future at a time of our own choosing, don't even bother picking up the phone to me Nicola Sturgeon

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “But I say this to Jeremy Corbyn or any Westminster leader who’s looking to the SNP for support, if you don’t accept Scotland’s right to choose our own future at a time of our own choosing, don’t even bother picking up the phone to me.”

Mr Corbyn has previously stated a second Scottish independence referendum would not take place in the “formative years” of a Labour government.

The leader said the focus would be on dealing with Brexit, ending austerity and tackling climate change.

But he added: “If at some future point there was a legitimate and fresh mandate, we wouldn’t block it.”

Opposition parties have insisted they want to ensure a Brexit extension before agreeing to the Prime Minister’s demand for an early poll.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Sturgeon’s comments simply underline that the SNP have always and will continue to use Brexit to further their own nationalist agenda.

“Sturgeon also knows that both Corbyn and McDonnell would happily agree to indyref2 for a chance to get to Number 10.

“Only the Scottish Conservatives will stand up for the majority of Scots who do not want another divisive referendum.”

PA

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