Snap general election aimed at pushing Britain to the right, says angry Scottish leader Sturgeon
The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader says the PM’s call for a vote on June 8 is “once again putting the interests of her party ahead of those of the country,” adding the decision is “one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history” and a “huge political miscalculation.”
Sturgeon said a snap election would give voters a fresh chance to reject Conservative austerity and a so-called “hard Brexit,” and give the SNP a new mandate for another Scottish independence referendum.
The SNP has signalled it will agree to an early election when a motion is raised in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
In a statement, Sturgeon said the decision to call for an election was a political move to capitalize on the internal crisis in the Labour Party.
“She is clearly betting that the Tories can win a bigger majority in England given the utter disarray in the Labour Party.
“That makes it all the more important that Scotland is protected from a Tory Party which now sees the chance of grabbing control of government for many years to come and moving the UK further to the right – forcing through a hard Brexit and imposing deeper cuts in the process.
“That means that this will be – more than ever – an election about standing up for Scotland in the face of a right-wing, austerity obsessed Tory government with no mandate in Scotland but which now thinks it can do whatever it wants and get away with it.”
The Tories see a chance to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts. Let's stand up for Scotland. #GE17— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 18, 2017
"Now is not the time". "No one wants it". '"Get on with the day job". All statements that Theresa May must surely now be regretting. 😉 https://t.co/M8TYAXMwWA— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 18, 2017
Sturgeon added: “It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.
“The SNP will always put the people of Scotland first - and between now and June 8, we will work harder than ever to retain the trust of the people.”
The UK’s vote to leave the EU – a position not supported in Scotland – has already resulted in a showdown between May and Sturgeon over plans for a second Scottish independence referendum.
The Scottish government has insisted another vote on the matter should be held sometime between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, but May has made it clear that “now is not the time” for such a vote.
Reasonably timed Scottish independence referendum ❌— Angry Salmond (@AngrySalmond) April 18, 2017
Snap election aimed to only benefit the Tories ✅ pic.twitter.com/rHi9LR9GLf
Sturgeon tweeted on Tuesday that May must be “regretting” earlier statements on the Scottish referendum, such as “now is not the time,” “no one wants it,” and “get on with the day job.”