Cost of living crisis 'will hit UK hard' says Keir Starmer
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Sir Keir acknowledged Labour does not deserve to lead a UK Government until it can regain the trust and confidence of those north of the border. He told the Sunday Mail in Scotland: “There is no route back for Labour without winning in Scotland – and nor should there be. This is a party that has been shaped by Scotland and I’m proud of our record in changing it for the better.
“But that work isn’t done – together we can make Scotland stronger and fairer and that’s why I’m working so hard to win back people’s trust.”
The Labour leader launched a savage attack against both the Conservative and SNP Governments, claiming “Scots are being failed” by them, highlighting the announced cut to Universal Credit from the Tories.
But he also reserved criticism for Ms Sturgeon, adding the SNP aren’t blameless in the handling of many of these crises”.
Sir Keir fumed: “Scots are being failed by two bad governments and this isn’t just headlines – it’s about living with dignity or living without it.
“This winter thousands of people are facing the choice between heating and eating. The cut to Universal Credit will push many people across the UK deeper into poverty.
“That means it has never been more important to get rid of this cruel Tory government.
“But – and there is no running away from this for Nicola Sturgeon – the Scottish Parliament isn’t powerless and the SNP aren’t blameless in the handling of many of these crises.
“Just one example, power over Winter Fuel Payments was handed to the Scottish Government in 2016 but the SNP gave it back to the Tories.
“What does that tell you about the scale of their ambition for Scotland?”
Despite the crises faced by Ms Sturgeon’s party, Scottish Labour have failed to make much of an impression north of the border, finishing in third place behind the SNP and the Scottish Conservative’s in May’s election.
But Sir Keir outlined how Labour – led by Anas Sarwar in Scotland – will “win again” in the country.
He continued: “Scottish Labour has called on the Scottish Government to deliver a £70 Winter Fuel Supplement for those most in need.
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“And that’s part of my promise to Scotland – at Holyrood or Westminster, Labour will always work for solutions which make a difference, not talk about change and fail to deliver.”
“Led by Anas Sarwar in Scotland, the Labour Party is listening to people’s hopes for the future and working to get things done.
“And that is why Labour will win again in Scotland because, while other parties squabble, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and work to build a better country.”
The SNP have continued to push for Scottish independence, with Ms Sturgeon hopeful of holding another referendum on the issue before the end of 2023 – as long as the Covid pandemic has passed.
Sir Keir has taken a hard line against Scotland splitting from the rest of the UK and has refused to back a second vote but throwing his support behind further devolution throughout the UK.
He added: “I’m in favour of further devolution and that is one of the principles that sit behind work Gordon Brown is doing on the Commission on the future of the UK.
“Within the framework for that, the only thing we are not going to countenance is the break-up of the Union but otherwise we are open to further devolution.”
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