Election 2015

Election 2015: Gordon Brown attacks Cameron and SNP

Gordon Brown Image copyright PA
Image caption Gordon Brown has stood down as an MP

Gordon Brown has accused David Cameron of stirring up English nationalism to try to win the election.

And the former PM said the SNP was misleading people over its offer to back a Labour-led administration.

Mr Cameron has described the prospect of a Labour government propped up by the SNP as a "match made in hell".

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said her party's MPs would "want to be constructive" at Westminster.

Mr Brown told a gathering in Fife: "The only way they can win is to build resentment in Scotland of the English and resentment in England of Scots."

And he told his audience of fewer than 100 voters that Mr Cameron was "whipping up English nationalism".

'People want change'

On the SNP, he said "people must realise they are not interested in a Labour government". Mr Brown said only a Labour government would "immediately deal with food bank poverty, zero-hours poverty, inequality and the NHS", warning that large numbers of SNP MPs could mean "months of constitutional chaos".

Mr Brown criticised the tone of the election campaign so far, saying: "People are talking all the time about hung Parliaments, negotiations, deals... We will talk about poverty, inequality, the health service."

But the former PM acknowledged that voters in Scotland do want change.

"I've been going around Scotland and the one thing that is clear, was clear during the referendum campaign and is clear now, is that people want change, they feel insecure," he said.

"But they don't just want constitutional change."

He repeatedly made the claim that only a Labour government could provide change "immediately", whereas a large number of SNP MPs heading to Westminster could result in "months of constitutional chaos".

Mr Brown said it was a "social justice election", saying Labour would "end austerity and protect those people in greatest need" whereas he claimed "there is no more money in the Scottish government's plans for extra spending to deal with these problems for the first year - there is zero money for all these problems".

'Protest group'

The former PM also attacked the SNP for delaying taking action over food banks, and the so-called bedroom tax, "because they didn't want to let Westminster off the hook - they simply don't do it as there are political reasons".

Mr Brown warned that if the SNP made significant gains, they would be in "exactly the same position as always; a protest group, they will make a song and dance about it but can they make real change?"

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Polls suggest Nicola Sturgeon's SNP is a threat to a number of Labour-held seats

He appeared to acknowledge that time is short for Labour to make its case again in Scotland saying: "In these last few days of this campaign it is Labour that will stand up for the values of sharing and solidarity."

Mr Brown dismissed Alex Salmond's remarks about writing the next Labour Budget, receiving laughs from the audience when he said: "Everybody knows, no one is going to ask him."

Responsible and constructive

David Cameron has warned the prospect of a Labour-SNP deal presents "clear and present dangers" for the UK.

He has said the rise in support for the SNP in Scotland meant the stakes in the election have "got much, much higher".

But Ms Sturgeon has sought to allay such fears, insisting her party would act in the interests of the whole of the UK.

She said last week: "If the SNP emerges from this election in a position of influence we will exercise that influence responsibly and constructively, and we will always seek to exercise it in the interests of people not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK."

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