Labour leaders confirming cuts plan creates dilemma for Scottish campaign
ED MILIBAND and other Labour figures at Westminster have given up on winning back support from the Scottish National Party, according to Tory leader Ruth Davidson MSP.
Davidson made the claim to the Daily Mail after Labour contradicted its leader in Scotland over plans to cut Scotland’s budget.
“With such a public slap down for their Scottish leader, it appears that Labour are abandoning Scotland to the SNP. Jim Murphy has had the rug pulled from under his feet by a panicking and shambolic party which seems to have given up on Scotland,” she told the paper.
Yesterday [Monday 13 April] both Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, and Chukka Umunna, shadow business secretary, undermined claims by Murphy, leader of Labour in Scotland, that no cuts were necessary in Scotland after 2016.
Balls said: “Yes, there will be cuts outside non-protected areas across all these budgets, that will apply in England and in Scotland.” (Click here to read more)
When challenged on the different positions in Scotland and England, Umunna made it clear who would be calling the shots after May’s election: “The leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK budget. The leader of our country, the next prime minister, Ed Miliband will be in charge of the UK budget.” (Click here to read more)
Launching Labour’s manifesto, Miliband reiterated that the party will make spending cuts.
The row threatens to re-open the dispute between Labour in Scotland and the party leadership in London.
Jim Murphy turned down a STV interview invitation yesterday evening. [Monday 13 April]
Last October Johann Lamont MSP resigned as leader in Scotland, claiming the party’s London HQ treated Labour in Scotland “like a branch office”.
When Murphy became leader he claimed “I won’t need Miliband’s permission to make decisions for Scotland”.
However, the party leadership has now made it clear that Miliband will decide what budget Scotland receives.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed the split was a crucial moment in the election campaign.
“The truth is out about Labour spending cuts. Jim Murphy’s false claims in the TV debates have been rubbished by his own party bosses at Westminster, who have hung him out to dry,” she said.
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