‘I drive a hard bargain’: Nicola Sturgeon makes clear she WILL demand Jeremy Corbyn allows new Scots independence referendum as price of propping him up in power
- SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has again made clear she wants second IndyRef
- Says she will demand permission for ballot to prop up Jeremy Corbyn in power
- Mr Corbyn has admitted he won’t stand in the way of a referendum within years
Nicola Sturgeon tonight made clear she will demand Jeremy Corbyn allows a new Brexit referendum as the price of propping him up in power.
The SNP leader also ridiculed the Labour leader’s wriggling on the issue of when he would permit a new ballot on breaking up the union – quipping that his ‘position changes every day’.
Laughing off Mr Corbyn’s suggestion that a referendum should not in the ‘early years’ of the next Parliament, rather than her schedule of next year, she said: ‘I drive a hard bargain.’
The comments came as Ms Sturgeon, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Brexit Party leader were interviewed on ITV,
The appearances were separate to a head-to-head debate between Boris Johnson and Mr Corbyn – which Ms Swinson and Ms Sturgeon fought an unsuccessful legal battle to be included in.
In an ITV interview, Nicola Sturgeon laughed off Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that a referendum should not in the ‘early years’ of the next Parliament, saying: ‘I drive a hard bargain.’
Mr Corbyn has admitted he will not stand in the way of another Scottish independence referendum, but flip-flopped wildly over the timing during a visit north of the border last week.
He initially ruled out permitting a vote before 2024 – but then humiliatingly backtracked and suggested one should not happen in the ‘early years’ of a Labour government.
Asked tonight to rule out a second Scottish independence referendum before the end of the first year of a Labour government, Mr Corbyn said: ‘I’ve said there would be no deal with the SNP, there would be no support for a Scottish referendum in the early years of the next Labour government because I want to invest in Scotland and give Scotland the £70billion it needs in capital investment.’
He said it was ‘their choice’ if the SNP leadership ‘chooses to put the Conservative government back in office’.
Mr Johnson retorted: ‘I listened very carefully as I always do to Mr Corbyn – I didn’t hear him say he was going to rule out a referendum on Scotland. Did you?’
Speaking afterwards, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘I have to say, Jeremy Corbyn’s position on this does change almost every day.’
But she said there was an ‘issue of principle at stake’ that it should be ‘up to the people of Scotland’ to decide its future.
She said she would not prop up the Tories in power, and would make sure the ‘voice of Scotland’ is heard if Labour needs help to form a minority administration.
The comments came as Ms Sturgeon, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Brexit Party leader were interviewed on ITV
The appearances were separate to a head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson (left) and Mr Corbyn (right)
The debate between Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn was bad-tempered – with each frequently being told off by presenter Julie Etchingham for overrunning their 30 seconds for an initial response to questions.
The audience in Salford laughed when Mr Corbyn claimed to have been ‘clear’ on his Brexit policy despite repeatedly ducking the question on whether he would support Leave or Remain.
He also prompted laughter when he tried to defend what Mr Johnson described as Labour’s ‘crackpot plan’ for a four-day working week.
Mr Corbyn said: ‘It is about reducing the working week all across the economy, paid for by productivity increases all across Britain.’
At one stage Mr Johnson joked that the Labour leader had ‘found a magic money forest’ as they were both accused of splurging money.
However, Mr Johnson was also heckled as he insisted on turning the discussion back to Brexit at all opportunities. And the PM – who is in the process of divorcing his second wife – dodged directly answering a query about the importance of personal integrity.