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Sturgeon: No deal struck with Corbyn to help Labour into power

Scotland’s First Minister said she has not met the Labour leader during the election campaign.

The First Minister said it would be ‘a bit odd’ if Jeremy Corbyn refused a second independence referendum (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The First Minister said it would be ‘a bit odd’ if Jeremy Corbyn refused a second independence referendum (Andrew Milligan/PA)

By Craig Paton, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Scotland’s First Minister has insisted no deal has been done with Jeremy Corbyn to put Labour into power after next month’s General Election.

Speaking at a campaign event in Dundee, Nicola Sturgeon said the discussions she has had in recent months with the Labour leader were over Brexit and not brokering a deal between the two parties.

Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly said Labour would have to agree to another independence referendum in Scotland in exchange for support from SNP MPs.

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The Prime Minister claimed during the election debate on Tuesday that Jeremy Corbyn had already reached a deal with the SNP (ITV/PA)

The First Minister also insisted the two leaders had not met during the election campaign.

Echoing the views expressed by her Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf on Wednesday, the SNP leader said she believed a Labour Government would issue the Section 30 order needed to hold a second independence vote.

The assertion comes after claims from the Prime Minister in Tuesday’s election debate on ITV that a deal may already have been struck between the two parties.

Ms Sturgeon said: “There is no deal with Jeremy Corbyn.

“The conversations I’ve had with Jeremy Corbyn in recent months, the most recent was just before the election was called in Westminster, have been about Brexit.

“It was about how the opposition parties were trying to come together to stop Brexit and find a better way forward.”

Jeremy Corbyn is not going to turn his back on a UK Labour Government just because he is determined to block the right of the Scottish people to choose their own future Nicola Sturgeon

She added if the Labour Party needed the votes from the SNP, Mr Corbyn would not turn down a deal.

Ms Sturgeon said: “As Humza Yousaf said, I do believe that, if the parliamentary arithmetic enables this, then Jeremy Corbyn is not going to turn his back on a UK Labour Government just because he is determined to block the right of the Scottish people to choose their own future.

“It would take a lot of explaining from him if he was to say ‘no, I’m going to walk away from that opportunity … because I want to veto Scotland’s right to self-determination’.”

The First Minister then claimed Mr Corbyn “favours self-determination for virtually every other country on the face of the planet”, adding it would be “a bit odd” if he was to reject SNP pleas for an independence vote.

Ms Sturgeon added she “wasn’t asking for anything unreasonable”.

She said: “I’m not asking Labour to suddenly support independence, I’m not even demanding that Labour MSPs in the Scottish Parliament vote for an independence referendum.

“I’m simply making the point that we shouldn’t find it difficult to get Westminster politicians to accept that the question of independence, the question of another referendum and on what timescale, are decisions for the people of Scotland through out democratically elected parliament.”

PA

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