SNP MPs would support 'progressive alliance' in a hung parliament

Mr Dowson said: "I am aware that Labour and the Conservatives have done many deals in the past particularly where they proved to be "Better Together" in opposing the SNP plans for a first and second independence referendum".

In a radio interview the Labour leader also said he would "ask them [the SNP] to think very carefully" about whether they wanted a second referendum.

"We commit to oppose austerity, and, as far as is possible, protect local services, particularly those supporting the most vulnerable individuals and communities from the effects of austerity".

Asked about independence, Ms Sturgeon said the election would "determine whether the people of Scotland think that whether and when we have a choice about our future should be a decision for the Scottish Parliament or a UK Prime Minister".

But earlier this year, Mr Corbyn said he would be "absolutely fine" with a referendum being held if the Scottish Parliament voted for one.

And she said:"We have formulated a partnership agreement which combines the manifesto commitments and priorities on which each party stood".

"I would ask them to think very carefully about it and suggest it would be much better to have this question dealt with at the conclusion of what are very serious and very important Brexit negotiations, where I am utterly determined to achieve tariff-free trade access to the European markets to protect manufacturing and service jobs all across the United Kingdom, all across Scotland, Wales and England as well of course".

Nicola Sturgeon mooted the possibility of a "progressive alliance" that would pursue "progressive policies" at Westminster if the June 8 election resulted in a hung parliament.

But Ms Sturgeon's "progressive" pitch echoes her landslide-winning campaign in 2015, which handed her all but three Scottish seats but proved to be electoral poison for Labour - with billboards of Mr Corbyn's predecessor Ed Miliband in Alex Salmond's pocket sending English voters scurrying.

He said: "Corbyn and the rest would put up taxes, weaken our defences and increase immigration". There will be no alliance. The reality of this election, even with a narrowing of the polls, is that we're going to face a Tory government perhaps with a bigger majority.

"Voting Tory deliveries Tory MPs who'll rubber stamp Theresa May and voting Labour in Scotland risks letting the Tories in".

As Adam Boulton points out today, the Tories haven't tried to revisit that image, but Nicola Sturgeon might have helped them along.

"Your first question to Jeremy Corbyn on June 9th would be "will you deliver, will you give me an independence referendum" - true or false?"

  • Leroy Wright