Jeremy Corbyn attacks SNP over 'unwanted and unnecessary' independence vote

Posted On: 
15th May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn will use Labour’s manifesto launch today to attack the SNP over their plans for an “unwanted and unnecessary” second independence referendum.

Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale at a Scottish Labour event in January

The Labour leader will call on Nicola Sturgeon’s party to “get on with the job of governing”, rather than focusing on constitutional issues.

Mr Corbyn has previously come under fire for suggesting that it would be “absolutely fine” for the Nationalists to call another referendum.

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But speaking ahead of today’s launch in Bradford, he said holding another vote would be “the wrong thing to do” for Scotland.

“Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum,” he said.

“It is unwanted and unnecessary, and we will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.”

He will be joined at the launch by Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who has made clear her own strong opposition to another referendum.

But her party faces an uphill battle on 8 June, with just one MP and a recent opinion poll putting them 10 points behind the Tories.

She framed the election as a chance for Scots to reject both the SNP and the Conservatives.

“By voting Labour on June 8, Scots can tell Nicola Sturgeon that we don’t want another divisive independence referendum,” Ms Dugdale said.

“Voters can reject a second referendum and deeper Tory cuts with one vote for Labour.

“Voting Tory doesn’t send Nicola Sturgeon a message; it sends Theresa May back to Number Ten. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn will work for the many, not the few.”


On Sunday Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson suggested there should not be another vote until 2049.

She pointed to former SNP leader Alex Salmond’s remarks that the 2014 vote should be a “once in a generation” event.

Ms Davidson told the Scottish Sun: “What was Alex Salmond’s definition?”

“He said that between the 1979 and 2014 referendums was about a generation. That works for me.”