ED MILIBAND yesterday bowed to Tory pressure and ruled out a formal coalition with Scottish nationalists but left the door open for a confidence and supply arrangement.
On a campaign trip to West Yorkshire, the Labour leader insisted: “There will be no SNP ministers in any government I lead.”
He made the pronouncement as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told an audience in London that Labour had nothing to fear from collaborating with her party.
“I can’t see for the life of me why Labour wouldn’t want to contemplate the possibility of working with the SNP to keep the Tories out of office,” she said at a lecture at the London School of Economics.
Mr Miliband’s opposition to a formal deal was echoed by flailing Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, who said there would be “no backroom deals” between the two parties.
Mr Murphy, considered a tribalist and reportedly known as “Killer Murphy” in the Labour whips’ office, has come under fire for working with the Tories in the Better Together anti-independence campaign.
But he turned his guns on the SNP yesterday, saying its support for relying solely on tax raised in Scotland could result in whopping budget cuts.
“We could never do a deal with any party promising that sort of austerity that would be so devastating for Scotland,” he said.
A poll last week placed Labour’s support in Scotland at just 27 per cent compared with 46 per cent for the SNP.