Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

PM: SNP wants to wreck government

David Cameron has warned voters that they have "11 days to save Britain", as he claimed Scottish nationalists "don't want the country to succeed".

The Prime Minister said the Scottish National Party would prop up a minority Labour administration in the hope that the government would be a "disaster" and bring forward its dream of independence.

But Liberal Democrat Cabinet minster Danny Alexander said that a majority Conservative government would be a "disaster" and accused the Prime Minister of "playing with fire" by stirring up ill-feeling between Scotland and England in a way that would only fuel support for independence in next year's Scottish Parliament elections.

The warnings came as Ed Miliband unveiled new proposals to bar private landlords from raising rents faster than inflation over a three-year period, while Mr Cameron set out a timetable for legislation during the first 100 days of a Conservative government.

Meanwhile, a set of polls indicated that the General Election race was still neck and neck, with the UK heading for a probable hung parliament and coalition negotiations after May 7.

An Opinium survey for the Observer gave Tories a one-point lead over Labour by 34%-33% and Survation put the Conservatives three points ahead on 33% to Labour's 30%, but YouGov for the Sunday Times recorded a two-point advantage (34%-32%) for Labour.

The Survation poll found that more than a third (34%) of English voters would not regard a Miliband administration propped up by the SNP as "legitimate", while more than two-fifths (44%) said that they would rather see England break away from Scotland than have an arrangement of this kind.

Mr Cameron told the Sunday Express that an outright Conservative victory could make Britain "one of the great international success stories of the next decade". And he echoed Tony Blair's "education, education, education" slogan when he said his three top priorities would be "economy, economy, economy".

But he warned: " There are 11 days left to save the economy, to save jobs, effectively to save Britain."

Mr Cameron said that the SNP "w ant to achieve the break-up of our country, so therefore if you have a Labour government backed by the SNP, you have got a government backed by people who don't want the country to succeed.

"They don't want parliament to succeed. They don't want the government to succeed. They don't want the United Kingdom to succeed. That is really worrying."

Nicola Sturgeon and her predecessor Alex Salmond will want voters to look back after five years of a minority Labour adminstration made possible by the SNP and think " that was a disaster, now can we break up the United Kingdom al together?", said the Prime Minister.

Mr Alexander was highly critical of the Conservatives' decision to focus their election campaign on the threat of Scottish nationalism.

The Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury told The Observer: " I think the Tory campaign has been a total disgrace. I think they are deliberately trying to stir up ill-feeling between Scotland and England in a desperate attempt to fend off Ukip and I think it has long-term consequences. When you stoke tensions, you are playing with fire."

Mr Alexander added: "I think a majority Tory government would be a disaster for the whole of the United Kingdom because it would lurch this country to the right economically ... but it would be a particular disaster in Scotland, because it would give the SNP what they most want - a grievance to nurse for the Scottish parliamentary election in 2016."

And former Liberal leader Lord Steel told the paper: "The truth is that a new Tory government dependent on Ukip sympathisers in their own midst is a greater threat to the unity of the UK than any band of SNP MPs."


From Belfast Telegraph