Jeremy Corbyn rules out election pacts with rival parties

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Jeremy Corbyn
Image caption,
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the election move by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP as a "stunt"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out pacts with other parties in any forthcoming general election.

Speaking at the Unite conference in Ayr, he branded SNP and Liberal Democrat efforts to trigger an election on 9 December "a bit of a stunt".

But he said he would be happy to go to the polls once the threat of a no-deal Brexit has been lifted.

The UK government will table a motion calling for a 12 December election on Monday.

It requires the support of two-thirds of MPs but Downing Street has indicated it would be prepared to look at other options should their plan fail.

However the SNP and the Lib Dems want to introduce a bill that enshrines a 9 December election in law, subject to a Brexit extension to 31 January.

Mr Cobyn told BBC Scotland the move was a "stunt".

"The reality is that we have got to have no-deal completely off the table and the whole threat removed before anything else because of the danger to our economy, to jobs, to trade, to medical supplies," he said.

"I think Johnson is playing with fire here by messing around and saying he is thinking of this."

Speaking at the conference, he said he would fight an election "whenever it comes".

And he added: "There will be no pacts with any other party, we are fighting that election to win it in every part of the UK."

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has previously suggested the party would demand the power to hold another Scottish independence referendum in return for supporting a minority Labour government.

Image source, Getty Images
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Boris Johnson wants a general election before Christmas

Mr Corbyn also vowed a Labour government elected at the next general election would invest more than £70bn in Scotland over the first decade of its administration.

He said Labour will "take on the wealthy and powerful" and "deliver the investment that Scotland needs and build a fairer, more equal and just society".

Mr Corbyn was in Ayrshire after spending Saturday campaigning in marginal seats Motherwell and Wishaw, and Inverclyde.

Meanwhile, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said he would be happy to go the polls as soon as possible.

Mr McCluskey told the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland: "For me personally, I would be up for an election now."

Image caption,
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said he would welcome an immediate general election

The union leader believes Mr Johnson's deal is "much worse" than Theresa May's and criticised his attempt to rush it through parliament in 72 hours.

Mr McCluskey said: "He was like a dodgy car salesman, not wanting us to open the bonnet and have a look at the mechanisms."

The Unite boss also said it was "fantasy" to suggest Labour MP Ian Murray was at risk of de-selection from his Edinburgh seat.

Instead he described the vote on Thursday as "an expression of anger by our members" for the politician's criticism of the Labour leadership in Scotland and at Westminster.

Responding to Mr Corbyn's comments, Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservatives' interim leader, criticised the Labour leader's position on a Scottish independence referendum.

"Corbyn will do whatever deal he has to with Sturgeon and he has pointedly refused to rule out caving in on the SNP's demand for a second independence referendum if he wins power," he said.

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