Nicola Sturgeon tells Theresa May: Early election call a ‘huge political miscalculation’
Nicola Sturgeon has told Theresa May she has made a “huge political miscalculation” by moving to hold an early general election.
The Scottish First Minister said today’s announcement amounts to “one of the most extraordinary U turns” in recent political history, after Downing St repeatedly ruled out calling a snap vote before 2020.
Ms Sturgeon predicted that the poll would allow Scots the opportunity to once more reject the Tories’ “divisive” agenda, and in doing so “reinforce” the mandate for holding a fresh referendum on independence.
In a statement, the SNP leader said: “This announcement is one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history, and it shows that Theresa May is once again putting the interests of her party ahead of those of the country.
“She is clearly betting that the Tories can win a bigger majority in England given the utter disarray in the Labour party.
“That makes it all the more important that Scotland is protected from a Tory Party which now sees the chance of grabbing control of government for many years to come and moving the UK further to the right – forcing through a hard Brexit and imposing deeper cuts in the process.”
She added: “In terms of Scotland, this move is a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister.
“It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.
“The SNP will always put the people of Scotland first – and between now and June 8th we will work harder than ever to retain the trust of the people.”
During her statement outside Number 10 this morning, Mrs May said the vote will be a choice between “strong and stable leadership” under her stewardship, or a “weak and unstable” government led by Jeremy Corbyn “propped up” by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.
The warning has echoes of the Tories' tactics under David Cameron at the 2015 election, who repeatedly claimed that Ed Miliband would need the support of the SNP to form a government.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the 2015 election was a “clear choice between a destructive Tory party and a better future with Labour”.
"At this election, the choice again will be clear: a Tory Party intent on a hard and damaging Brexit; or a Labour party that will oppose a second independence referendum and fight for a better future for everybody,” she continued.
"The Labour party is ready and has been preparing for a General Election. We will start the process of selecting our candidates this afternoon.
"We will work tirelessly to elect Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister and deliver a Labour Government."
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