Sturgeon pledges to ‘snub’ Tories

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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New SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will pledge that her party will not do a deal with the Conservatives if David Cameron fails to win an overall majority at Westminster next year.

With a hung parliament being one possible outcome in May’s general election, Ms Sturgeon said the nationalists – who have seen their support rise since the independence referendum – could hold the balance of power in the UK parliament.

As she makes her first speech as party leader at the SNP annual conference in Perth, she will say: “The SNP will never put the Tories into government.”

In the general election, Labour will “fall back on the same desperate mantras as before” and tell voters north of the border the only way to keep the Conservatives out of Downing Street is to back Ed Miliband’s party.

But she will claim that is “the biggest con trick in Scottish politics” and say voters must “not fall for it again”.

Ms Sturgeon will recall: “Scotland did vote Labour at the last general election, but we still ended up with the Tories.

“And if the people of England vote Tory next May, it won’t matter how we vote, a Tory government is what we’ll get. Or worse a Tory/Ukip government.”

If that happens, she will say Scotland will need “strong SNP MPs who will stand up to the Tories, challenge the despicable politics of Nigel Farage and fight Scotland’s corner”.

She will add: “Perhaps this time Scotland’s votes will count. Scotland could well hold the balance of power in a Westminster parliament with no overall majority.”

Ms Sturgeon will vow: “If that happens, I promise you this – you won’t need to have voted Labour to keep the Tories out, because that’s what we’ll do.

“My pledge to Scotland today is this – the SNP will never put the Tories into government.”

Ms Sturgeon will also use her speech to promise a rates reduction scheme for smaller businesses will continue for the lifetime of the next parliament if the SNP is again elected to power at Holyrood in 2016.

Ms Sturgeon, who will become Scotland’s First Minister next week, will promise to “champion the interests of Scottish business at home and around the globe”.

New plans to help firms north of the border to “innovate, export, be more competitive and create more jobs” will be unveiled in the weeks to come.

But she will tell the conference: “As part of the focus on wealth creation, the cornerstone of our support for the nation’s smallest enterprises will continue.

“The Small Business Bonus will help almost 100,000 small businesses next year to the tune of £165 million.

“My pledge today is this: That support will continue, not just for the remainder of this parliament, but if we are re-elected it will continue for the entire lifetime of the next parliament as well.”

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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