Progressive alliance?

Corbyn rules out alliance with SNP

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Could a progressive alliance work?

Britain will be run by a "coalition of chaos" if voters are tempted by a plan by Nicola Sturgeon for a “progressive alliance” of SNP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, according to Theresa May, writes The Telegraph.

After securing Parliament’s backing for a June 8 election, the Prime Minister said the country faced a “clear choice” between “strong and stable” leadership under the Conservatives, or a coalition thrown together to “prop up” Jeremy Corbyn.

In her first speech of the campaign, Mrs May also appealed directly to the electorate as she asked them to “put their trust in me” and “give me the mandate to fight for Britain”.

She immediately took the fight to the Opposition, flying to the target seat of Bolton North East, a Labour marginal that voted for Brexit in the EU referendum.

Writing for Labour List British political commentator Neal Lawson says a progressive alliance could help Labour take 30 Tory seats.

"The choice is now crystal clear and dangerously imminent – Labour nationally, but especially locally, either works for a progressive alliance or faces electoral annihilation," he writes.

"This is the deal. Local parties that have no hope of winning stand aside or don’t campaign and Greens and especially Liberal Democrats do the same. The effect could be transformative. Labour could defend 43 of the 48 most vulnerable seats the Tories will be looking to win. And we could win 29 of the 47 most vulnerable seats the Tories now hold. A progressive alliance is the only key to victory.

"There are just two points about a progressive alliance, it must be progressive and it must be an alliance. It is for and by people who want a fairer more equal world, air we can breathe and a belief in the best of each other. But it doesn’t mean we are all the same and we swallow our party identities. It is an alliance precisely because we are different. And victory means that from now on every Labour vote counts everywhere in the country. It’s a once and once only deal between people of broadly similar minds and hopes to change our political system. All it needs is that we stop fighting each other – and for this election we all fight the Tories."

An admirable sentiment, however, Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out any alliance with the SNP saying it has no interest in the UK.

He said: "The SNP may talk left at Westminster, but in government in Scotland it acts right. A genuinely progressive party would not refuse to introduce a 50p top rate of income tax on the richest.

"The SNP wants to break up the UK; it has no interest in making it work better. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity in Scotland - not progressive politics."

Labour was reduced to just one MP in Scotland in 2015, but Mr Corbyn insisted his party could rebuild support.

"Only Labour or the Tories can win this election and voting Labour is the only way to remove Theresa May from office," he said.

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