Nicola Sturgeon hints at 'progressive alliance' with Jeremy Corbyn to 'lock Tories out of government'
Nicola Sturgeon has hinted she could join forces with Jeremy Corbyn in a "progressive alliance" after a snap election.
The SNP leader said she was open to a potential tie-up between her party and Labour to "lock the Tories out of government".
But she said Mr Corbyn would need to take "a very firm anti-Brexit position" before any deal could be struck.
Ms Sturgeon also ruled out a full-blown coalition between the two parties as she condemned the Labour leader's approach to Brexit since the 2016 EU referendum.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Sturgeon said: “I have fought two general elections now as SNP leader, and, in both of them, I have been pretty candid.
“We would always want to be part of a progressive alternative to a Tory government. That remains the case.”
Pressed on whether she would rule it a deal with Labour, Scotland's first minister said: “Look, I think in politics you’ve got to be careful. But it would not be my intention, to go into a formal coalition.
"I said that in 2015 and 2017 – that’s not a new thing. But some kind of progressive alliance that could lock the Tories out of government…”
Ms Sturgeon added: “It wouldn’t be a blank-cheque type scenario. We would want Jeremy Corbyn to take a very firm anti-Brexit position.
“We would look to do what was right for Scotland.”
Despite being open to the possibility of an electoral pact, the SNP leader said she was "no great fan of Jeremy Corbyn".
She said: "I think his lack of leadership on Brexit in particular…well, if we do crash out without a deal, he will bear almost as much responsibility as Theresa May or Boris Johnson."
But a Labour spokesman said: "Labour will not countenance a coalition or pact with other parties.
“We are campaigning to form a Labour government that will invest in communities and public services in all the regions and nations of the UK.”
Responding to Ms Sturgeon's criticisms of Mr Corbyn, the spokesman added: "In Parliament, Labour has led the way on cross party work to block no deal.
"We backed an amendment for a close economic relationship with the EU to break the deadlock and put a stop to no deal, which was defeated because the SNP went back on their own policy and failed to support it."