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SCOTTISH Labour leader Richard Leonard hit out at the SNP today over its NHS protection Bill election pledge.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon announced the Bill at her party’s election campaign launch in Edinburgh, saying that SNP MPs would table it in the next parliament to protect the NHS from privatisation and future trade deals.
The pledge follows reports that parts of the NHS could be sold to the US in post-Brexit trade deals.
But Mr Leonard said the SNP’s record showed it couldn’t be trusted to keep its promise.
“Whether it’s the Scottish government waiving millions of pounds in aviation fees at state-owned Prestwick Airport or the record over a number of years of Alex Salmond massaging Donald Trump’s ego, the SNP have shown they’re afraid of standing up to the US administration,” said Mr Leonard.
“We shouldn’t be fooled by their attempts to compensate for this.
“Only Jeremy Corbyn, with his consistent record of putting his principles before sucking up to power, can protect the NHS from Donald Trump.”
Announcing the pledge, Ms Sturgeon said her party would “fight tooth and nail any attempt to expose the NHS to a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump.”
Elsewhere at the launch, Ms Sturgeon left open the possibility of supporting a Jeremy Corbyn-led parliament in order to block the Tories.
“I can’t foresee the SNP being in a formal coalition. But we would look, as we said in the previous general elections, to form alliances that would keep the Tories out of power,” said Ms Sturgeon.
She indicated that the SNP would demand the right to hold a second independence referendum, further powers for Holyrood and increased investment if any deal were to be reached.
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