Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has ruled out making deals with the SNP over a second independence referendum in exchange for supporting a Labour government.
Mr McDonnell was asked about his comments at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that Labour would not block a second Scottish independence referendum and insisted “there are no deals whatsoever” with the SNP.
While standing by his comments about the Scottish people’s right to decide, Mr McDonnell said that there would not be another vote “in the early years of a Labour government”.
At the Edinburgh festival last month, Mr McDonnell claimed Labour would not stand in the way of another referendum in Scotland, describing the Scottish Parliament’s right to decide as “democracy” – contradicting the Scottish Labour Party’s position.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, Mr McDonnell said that it was still his opinion but added: “That’s not a deal, that’s my personal view that I’ve expressed.
“That’s not doing a deal, that’s my position, but we’re not doing deals with anyone.
“When we go into the next general election, I believe we will have a majority, but if we are in a minority, we will be a minority government, we won’t do coalitions, we will expect [other parties] to support the party.
“If we’re in a minority position, we’ll form a government and the other opposition parties can vote for the policies we’re advocating and if they don’t, we’ll go back to the people.”
Under section 30 of the Scotland Act, Holyrood could only hold one if it is given the power to do so by the UK Government.
Asked whether he would try to prevent another independence vote if in government, he added: “I said then [in Edinburgh], I don’t think it’s up to the UK Parliament to block a referendum.
“I don’t think there should be another referendum, I think Scotland should stay united within the United Kingdom.
“It would not be a priority for us, we’ve got enough to deal with, with climate change, austerity, etc.
“Certainly it wouldn’t be in the early years of a Labour government and there would have to be a proper mandate in Scotland – the Scottish people would have to decide themselves.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?