Labour not planning alliances with SNP, campaign co-ordinator says

Labour is “not planning alliances” with the SNP “or anyone”, the party’s national campaign co-ordinator has said.

Pat McFadden said a change in SNP leader “doesn’t make much difference” after Humza Yousaf announced his resignation as First Minister on Monday.

Asked if he “could imagine” Labour and the SNP working together if his party does not win a majority at a general election, Mr McFadden told Sky News’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips “no”.

He said: “Our aim is to win a majority, to govern, to meet the mood for change, and we’re not planning any alliances or pacts with anyone.”

John Swinney
John Swinney could become the SNP’s new leader and Scotland’s first minister (PA)

Former deputy first minister John Swinney could become SNP leader from Monday afternoon if he runs unopposed, with Mr Swinney stating he would like to get on with that job “as quickly as possible”.

However, reports suggest a leadership battle may be on the cards after activist Graeme McCormick used the independence march in Glasgow to drum up support for his candidacy.

Asked if he would have been happier if the SNP had kept Mr Yousaf as leader, Mr McFadden said: “I don’t think it matters who the SNP leader is now, because I think there has been a big change.

“If there’s a contest or not, I don’t think it makes much difference because in Scotland just as in England there is a mood for change.

“In Scotland, just as in England, there is a tired government that has run out of steam and run out of ideas.

“One of the big changes that has happened, apart from the scandals surrounding the SNP over the last year, is the issue of lack of delivery of the basic job of the Government around health, education, and other services – which the SNP had shielded by keeping the constitutional issue on the boil year after year.

“That has now changed, people are looking at delivery and there is a mood for change which a party that has been in power as long as the SNP have cannot meet.”

Asked about the Labour frontbencher’s remarks, SNP leadership hopeful Mr Swinney implied he could convince his “university buddy” to reconsider his position.

He said: “Well, I know Pat well. Pat and I are old university buddies from the University of Edinburgh a lifetime ago.

“So I don’t think Pat’s public line to you is something that he would sustain in a decent conversation with me or with others.”

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