Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson ‘joined at the hip’ in independence obsession, says Sir Keir Starmer
Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson are “united at the hip”, Keir Starmer is expected to tell delegates at the Scottish Labor Conference.
He is set to use his speech today to criticize both governments for turning every election into an independence referendum.
Due to the pandemic, this is Scottish Labour’s first conference since 2019, and the first chance Sir Keir has had to address party loyalists since replacing Jeremy Corbyn two years ago.
In his speech, the British Labor leader will seek to put some distance between himself and his predecessor, promising a more business-friendly orientation for the party.
He is also expected to criticize ScotWind’s recent tender, accusing the SNP of “selling Scottish offshore wind to every conceivable foreign energy interest”.
He is expected to say, “Work in power is always power exercised in partnership with the people.
“But because this government is so distracted, it has no plan for household finances and no economic planning at all.
“And I ask you, what do these Tories and the SNP have in common? Well, beyond being joined at the hip in their desire to see every election turn into the same referendum again and again.
“They don’t have an industrial strategy up to the challenge of our time. Neither do the credible policies we need to create and sustain decent jobs.
“Decades in power between them and none of these governments have done enough to secure the jobs and industries of the future on our shores.
“The so-called British business party is barely able to talk to business. While the North Sea Nationalism party is now selling Scottish offshore wind to every conceivable foreign energy interest. ”
“We now have a new opportunity. To have a Labor government that will partner with business to create jobs.
“Instead of a Conservative government that treats British affairs with disdain, disinterest and disrespect. Because Labor is the party of labour, we always have been.
“There is no challenge ahead of us, be it automation or climate change, that we cannot meet.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “Keir Starmer has proven once again that he is just as out of touch with Scotland as Boris Johnson.
“It is the SNP who stand up for the people of Scotland by opposing the Tories’ deeply damaging Brexit which we did not vote for, while Labor have become their midwives.
“And it’s Labor councilors who are Tory bedfellows in Aberdeen and North Lanarkshire – so Sir Keir might want to get his own house in order before hurling baseless insults at others.
“As Labor sinks further into irrelevance after suffering their worst election defeat in the history of devolution in May, the SNP will continue to deliver for the people of Scotland.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: ‘Scottish Labor is currently in coalition with the SNP in six councils across Scotland. In Wales, Labor has struck an even closer deal with the Nationalist Party. If anyone is joined at the hip, it’s Labor and Nationalists across the UK.
Sir Keir’s speech comes as a new poll suggests only a third of Scots want an independence vote within two years and the country is still evenly split on the constitution, with 51 per cent backing the union and 49% supporting independence.
The Savanta-ComRes survey for The Economist found that a third of Scots believe it would be wrong for the Supreme Court to decide whether a referendum can be held.
It also found that the majority of voters were certain of their opinion of Scotland’s place in the UK.
On a scale of zero (not at all certain) to ten (absolutely certain), only 10% gave a rating below six.