Labour-SNP coalition would lead to “a very leftward drift”, William Hague says


Hague: It’s a dangerous situation for any government to rely on SNP votes

TORY MP William Hague has said a Labour-SNP coalition would be dangerous for the country, leading to an anti-business government that would hurt the UK economy.

Hague, former foreign secretary and now leader of the House of Commons, was reported in The Herald as saying it “would be a dangerous situation for any government to be dependent on the votes of the SNP – and that will be a factor people will have to think about in the General Election”.

The Tories remain just behind Ed Miliband’s Labour in most opinion polls, and with smaller centre-left parties like the SNP and Greens having more of an impact than in previous years, the prospect of a minority Labour government relying on their support to govern remains real.

“The dangers are of an unstable coalition or a minority government, which is dangerous in any circumstances, and of a very leftward drift,” Hague said.

Hague added that Labour already have “little understanding of business and enterprise”, and if reliant on the support of the nationalists there would be a “danger” of “pushing the Labour party even further in that direction with damaging consequences for the whole UK economy”.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran responded to Hague’s comments by saying: “The real risk to Scotland is five more years of a Tory government that would take public spending back to the 1930s, before we had the NHS.

“Only Labour is big enough and strong enough across the UK to kick the Tories out.

“Every vote for the SNP risks another Tory Government.”

A spokesperson for the First Minister stated: “William Hague’s comments show the Tories are running scared of the SNP surge and of the prospect of the SNP’s strength keeping them out of office after May.”

In a visit to Scotland on Thursday, Ed Balls, Labour shadow Chancellor, refused to rule out a deal with the SNP after the General Election.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have released campaign literature warning that a vote for the Conservatives or Labour respectively would strengthen the SNP.

The growth of the SNP in Scotland – which saw the party rocket to more than 90,000 members after the Scottish independence referendum – is the biggest challenge for votes in Scotland Labour has faced for decades.

Picture courtesy of the Foreign & CommonWealth Office