‘Terrifying’ Salmond Sets Out Labour Deal Terms

Alex Salmond has said Labour would have to agree to ditch Trident and the austerity agenda, and extend HS2 to Scotland if Ed Miliband wants the SNP to put him in power.

The former Scottish First Minister told Sky’s Murnaghan programme he could see his party signing up to a “confidence and supply” agreement with Labour.

But he set out a shopping list of demands the SNPwould make including steering Labour against signing up to the Tories austerity agenda and having a say over what was included in any Budget.

Scrapping the Trident nuclear deterrent, which is based in Faslane, would be another red line for the nationalists, he said earlier.

And he indicated the SNP would also use high speed rail as another bargaining chip – insisting HS2started in Scotland and not the north of England.

Mr Salmond said he could see the SNP working with MrMiliband’s party on a “vote-by-vote” basis.

He told Sky News: “What I think is possible is a confidence and supply arrangement where we have a limited number of objectives and in return we would vote for Budgets. More probable is a vote-by-vote arrangement.”

And he added: “If there was a confidence and supply arrangement we would move, or attempt to move, the Labour Party away from signing up to the Tory austerity agenda.”

Earlier Mr Salmond had told the Andrew Marr Show he hoped the election would result in a “tartan bloc” on the “green benches at Westminster”.

He said: “Hopefully that decisive bloc of SNP MPs will move the Labour Party in a different direction.

“I think there is lots of people – certainly lots of people in Scotland.. but I think people across these islands are pretty fed up with the duopoly at Westminster and might want to see politics a bit more interesting, where parties have to work for their votes and have to justify things on a vote by vote basis to the people of the country.

“I think lots of people will find that a much more exciting and productive system of politics.”

Mr Salmond told Murnaghan he would not lead the SNP in the House of Commons, if he was elected in May as MP for Gordon, and Angus Robertson and Nicola Sturgeon would lead any coalition negotiations.

He added that Mr Miliband should not have ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP because the Tories were “making fun of him”.

The Tories responded by putting out a new attack add which depicted Mr Miliband as a puppet dancing to Mr Salmond’s “tune”.

:: What We’ve Learned About Alex Salmond

Scottish Labour Party leader Jim Murphy told Sky News the only thing Mr Salmond had the “balance of power” to do was to return David Cameron to No 10 for a second term.

Advancing the Labour argument that a vote for the SNP was a vote for the Tories, he said people would take a “dim view” if the Tory leader got back in “by accident” because SNP took the Labour vote in Scotland.

When he was asked if he was frightened of Mr Salmon, Mr Murphy replied: “I’m frightened of no one.”

Conservative Defence Minister Anna Soubry said she had found Mr Salmond’s interview with Andrew Marr”terrifying”.

She said: “The audacity is astonishing. There was a wonderful debate in Scotland, you lost it. We are a United Kingdom, that is what the people of Scotland wanted.

“Because of the inadequacies of Labour north of the border you guys are now in the position where you can be the power broker.”

John Lamont MSP, Scottish Conservative chief whip said: “Four weeks before postal ballots go out, Alex Salmond is taking the votes of people in Scotland for granted and planning back-room deals with Labour from a TV sofa in London. Even for him, this is stunning arrogance.”

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22 March 2015 | 6:51 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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