Labour MP admits being ‘relieved’ when Tories got in

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Labour MP Jack Straw has been slammed after revealing that he was “relieved” when the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed an alliance after the general election.

The former Secretary of State for Justice was speaking in a radio interview when he explained that he felt the arithmetic, which would have meant Labour having to form a rainbow coalition involving parties outside of London, was against them.


Labour MP Jack Straw has been slammed after revealing that he was “relieved” when the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed an alliance after the general election.

The former Secretary of State for Justice was speaking in a radio interview when he explained that he felt the arithmetic, which would have meant Labour having to form a rainbow coalition involving parties outside of London, was against them.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil has seized on Mr Straw’s comments, and has accused the Labour party of ‘walking away’ from an opportunity to prevent a Tory government.
 
Commenting, Mr MacNeil said: 
“This is yet more evidence that Labour politicians prefer Tory government to Scottish Independence.
 
“Jack Straw’s words will haunt Labour in Scotland for years to come – he has just admitted that Labour walked away from the opportunity to form an alternative administration, and inflicted a Tory government on Scotland with no proper mandate north of the Border. A progressive alternative to the Con/Dem coalition did exist, but Labour chose not to pursue it and deliberately handed the keys of Number 10 to David Cameron.
 
“If Labour had been prepared to work with other parties, including the SNP, the first 100 days of the 2010 UK Parliament could have been very different for Scotland. The SNP stood ready to use our votes to make real gains for Scotland, but Labour preferred to usher in the Tories – a party rejected by over 80% of Scottish people, and their growing Disrespect Agenda.”

Immediately after the general election, the SNP’s Alex Salmond offered to support a Labour/Lib Dem coalition in order to prevent the Tories taking power.  Mr Salmond’s offer was publicly rejected by a number of senior Scottish Labour politicians and talks with the Lib Dems then collapsed.
 
A transcript of Jack Straw’s interview is below:
“…it’s not that I have a pathological objection to getting into bed with people like the Liberal Democrats in extremis but the arithmetic was profoundly against us, so I thought it inherently unsatisfactory and I was relieved to be frank when the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives finally formed their coalition.” Jack Straw (Today Programme, 18th August 2010).

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