Corbyn attacks SNP budget plans in Glasgow speech

Jeremy Corbyn

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Jeremy Corbyn said the SNP government “is not standing up for Scotland”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has used his first speech in Scotland in 2017 to attack the SNP’s budget.

Mr Corbyn used a speech in Glasgow to accuse the Scottish government of “devolving austerity and passing the buck”.

He also accused Theresa May of engaging in a “race to the bottom” with her Brexit plans.

The SNP accused Mr Corbyn of “carping from the sidelines” and said Labour in Scotland were “stuck in a sorry place”.

In his speech, Mr Corbyn said: “The SNP government simply passes on Tory austerity and is increasingly failing to govern effectively or fairly.

“Trying to talk left at Westminster when in opposition, whilst acting right in power at Holyrood, is not standing up for Scotland.

“It is not standing up for Scotland failing to tackle the scandalous level of health inequalities here in this great city of Glasgow and across Scotland. It is not standing up for Scotland overseeing a growing attainment gap between children from poorer and wealthier backgrounds.

“It is not standing up for Scotland refusing to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in all of these areas – and many more where the SNP has failed.

“The SNP is not standing up for Scotland. It’s standing up for the establishment.”

The Labour leader met with “Justice for Jannies” protestors outside the event, who are in dispute with employers Cordia, a body of Glasgow City Council.

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Mr Corbyn spoke to protesters from Unison in Glasgow

Mr Corbyn, who was joined by Kezia Dugdale at the Glasgow event, also made reference to the Scottish party leader’s plans for a “people’s constitutional convention”.

Ms Dugdale has also suggested a “new act of union”, but opponents accused Labour of being “all at sea” on the issue after Mr Corbyn told the BBC he “would not use” those words.

Mr Corbyn said he agrees with Ms Dugdale about the need for a review to “redistribute reclaimed powers and resources across all our nations”.

He also said Scottish independence would “lead to turbo-charged austerity and a glaring hole in the money required to fund essential services”.

Media captionJeremy Corbyn: Labour can unite people over Brexit

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon responded to this on Twitter, calling it “rubbish”, adding: “If Corbyn wasn’t leading such a pitifully ineffective opposition, the Tories wouldn’t be getting away with half of what they are.”

A spokesman for the SNP said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s comments are exactly the sort of carping from the sidelines that Kezia Dugdale warned about when she said that Labour would be unelectable under his leadership.

“Labour in Scotland are stuck in a sorry place between completely irrelevant and totally desperate.

“Just last week Jeremy Corbyn fatally undermined Kezia Dugdale’s plans on the constitution – and the attempts to paper over the cracks with this contrived photo op will fool no one.

“But it’s not just internal Labour division that is driving voters away, it’s the fact that nobody knows what purpose they serve.

“While the SNP are standing up for Scotland against a Tory hard Brexit, Labour have capitulated to the Tories at Westminster – opening the door to economic catastrophe.”

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