Gordon Brown says ‘no deal’ with SNP

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown has said there will be no deal with the SNP to govern after the General Election.

In a key speech in Kirkcaldy he sought to put clear space between the parties with just 14 days to go before voters have their say - and he also used the platform to drive home Labour’s position as the party that chamnpions social justice.

Mr Brown, the former Prime Minister who has retired as MP for Kirkcaldy for Cowdenbeath, addressed a packed audience at the Old Kirk.

He was joined by Kezia Dugdale MSP, deputy leader of Labour in Scotland, and Henry McLeish, former First Minister, plus the party’s constituency candidate, Kenny Selbie.

The rally drew a large media contingent to hear Mr Brown’s strong attack on the SNP as he sought to change the debate from discussion centred on what happens after May 7 in the event of Labour needing the support of the nationalists to govern; an issue which has dominated the national debate in recent days with the Tories using it as a major tactic, and SNP also talking of supporting Labour on an issue by issue basis to lock out David Cameron from Number 10.

Mr Brown’s message was blunt: ‘‘There is no deal with the SNP. It is never going to happen.

Kenny Selbie, the Labour candidate for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath in the 2015 General Election

Kenny Selbie, the Labour candidate for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath in the 2015 General Election

‘‘The SNP are no friends of the Labour party.’’

He added: ‘‘The idea that the SNP wants to elect a Labour government is fictitious. It will never happen. They claim to hold the balance of power because that is the only way they can get into this debate.

‘‘How can you work with a party that wants to break up a country that we want to build up?’’

Mr Brown’s speech also highlighted the issues of austerity, unemployment and foodbanks.

He has recently called for free travel to foodbanks, an issue now being taken up by Fife Council,

‘‘It is a scandal that people are going without basic necessities because of punitive decisions taken by the Government - but we have had an SNP Government at Holyrood for eight years and nothing has been done here.’’

He pledged a Labour government would, within 24 hours of taking power, give £5000 to every foodbank in Scotland to help them provide support at local level, and that the churches and voluntary groups involved with them would have a say in tackling the austerity measures impacting on families.

And he again criticised the SNP’s record on fighting austerity, adding: ‘‘The SNP did not put a single extra penny into its 2015-16 budget to tackle austerity. Labour will put in £800m, properly funded - nothing from the SNP.’’

Mr Brown also threw his weight behind Ed Milliband, Labour leader, describing him as ‘‘a man of integrity.’’

‘‘He has shown is the right man to be the next Prime Minister of this country,’’ he added.