Shropshire Star

SNP’s Flynn urges Scots not to give Starmer a ‘free pass’ for spending cuts

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said the election was now a ‘coronation’ which will see the Labour leader become PM in a few weeks time.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has urged voters not to give Labour a 'free pass' to impose spending cuts Scotland after the election

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has warned Scots against giving Sir Keir Starmer a “free pass” to impose cuts in public spending north of the border after the election.

Mr Flynn said that SNP MPs are needed at Westminster to  be a “strong Scottish voice there to stop him”.

First Minister John Swinney used a speech on Friday to claim that the Labour leader will inflict “significant cuts” on public spending in Scotland if, as expected, his party wins the July 4 General Election.

Echoing the SNP leader’s words, Mr Flynn wrote in the Daily Record newspaper that “spending on our public services is becoming the defining issue of this election”.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has already warned of “sharp” cuts to come, regardless of whether Labour or the Conservatives win power.

But Mr Flynn said that “after years of Westminster cuts and economic mismanagement, and policy disasters like Brexit, we urgently need to see investment in the services”.

He added: “The Westminster parties aren’t prepared to invest and they are hiding the cuts that they are both planning.

“So in this election, the choice in Scotland is whether people want to vote for a Labour Party that will deliver Tory spending cuts or do they want to vote for the Scottish National Party, that will invest in the future of Scotland and put Scotland’s interests first.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will be 'crowned' the next prime minister, Mr Flynn said
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will be ‘crowned’ the next prime minister, Mr Flynn said. (James Manning/PA)

Mr Flynn added: “The choice is whether we give Sir Keir a free pass to inflict more public service cuts or whether we have a strong Scottish voice there to stop him.”

Labour’s lead in the polls means that “the race for Downing Street is no longer an election, it’s turned into a coronation” Mr Flynn added, saying Sir Keir will be “crowned as the next UK prime minister” in just a few weeks.

But Mr Flynn added: “Labour politicians will always put the Westminster status quo before Scotland and they’ll have no reason to change that habit with a huge majority.

“Scotland needs a party who always put our interests first, and that’s what the SNP will always do.”

He also accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of showing “disrespect” when he left D-Day commemorations early last week.

Mr Flynn said: “It was a failure to act and think like a decent human being. It was another example of a Tory Prime Minister who seems to have a suffered from a humanity bypass at birth.”

He added that “that Tory trait applies up here too”, as he criticised Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, after he announced he would run in the seat where former Scotland Office minister David Duguid had hoped to be the candidate.

With Mr Duguid unwell, the Scottish Conservative management board decided he could not stand in the election, and Mr Ross, who had previously said he would be stepping down from his Westminster seat  to focus on Holyrood and his role as Scottish party leader, then announced he would instead be the candidate.

Mr Flynn  accused the Tories of “doing down a sick man so that he could personally swoop in and try to grab himself another job”, saying it was “pretty cold and pretty cruel by anyone’s standards”.

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