The Scottish National Party’s (SNP) leader in Westminster has criticised Jeremy Corbyn for showing a “lack of leadership” on antisemitism.
When asked whether the SNP would prop up a Labour government, Ian Blackford categorically ruled out entering into a coalition with any party, including Labour.
“The way that the Labour Party has dealt with antisemitism, the way that Jeremy Corbyn has dealt with antisemitism needs to be called out. I think there has been a failure of leadership,” he told Jewish News.
But Blackford also said the SNP would be willing to “work with”other parties on specific issues such as Brexit and Scottish independence.
“We would be willing to talk with people but I think it is important in that context that we call out anyone that doesn’t show effective leadership against antisemitism,” he said.
“Labour has to acknowledge the situation that it’s in with the Jewish community and the fact that it hasn’t shown leadership on the antisemitism issue and that’s something that we would seek quite strongly, but would we be willing to lock the conservatives out of power to stop us being taken out of Europe? Of course we would, and course we’re going to have to work with others in order to do that,” he added.
Last month, the since-suspended SNP candidate Neale Hanvey apologised for sharing a post in 2016 containing an image depicting the Jewish philanthropist George Soros as a puppet master.
Hanvey, whose name will remain on the ballot paper but would sit as an independent if elected, said he was “genuinely and deeply sorry.”
When challenged on the allegations, Blackford said: “I’m led to believe that your colleagues in the Jewish community were pleased that at least in this situation, we acted promptly.”
“The information wasn’t known to us at the time … Immediately when it was brought to attention, we took immediate action to suspend him,” he added.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC’s Andrew Marr last week that she would offer her support to a Labour minority government with certain conditions attached.