Top Tories warn that Conservatives' scaremongering over SNP could split union

Are the Conservatives’ repeated warnings over an SNP-Labour government winning the Scottish party greater support?

Michael Forsyth

Lord Forsyth, former Tory Scottish secretary

Senior Tories have voiced concern that the Conservatives’ tactics of talking up the threat a Labour-SNP government could pose to Britain, may result in a damaging outcome.

Michael Forsyth, the former Tory Scottish secretary, described David Cameron’s current approach as “short-term and dangerous”.

Cameron has repeatedly said that with Ed Miliband in Number 10 with the support of the SNP, the Labour party would be “held hostage” by the Scots.


Former Prime Minister John Major is also expected to reiterate Cameron’s views on a Labour/SNP tie up during a speech today.

He is expected to say that a Miliband-helmed government with the SNP would be subjected to a “daily dose of political blackmail”.

But some in the Conservative Party believe this is having the effect of bolstering SNP support.

Lord Forsyth said: “We’ve had the dilemma for [the] Conservatives, which is they want to be the largest party at Westminster and therefore some see the fact that the nationalists are going to take seats in Scotland will be helpful. But that is a short-term and dangerous view which threatens the integrity of our country.”

Miliband has also been vocal in attacking the Conservatives’ stance on the SNP. Speaking to the BBC, he accused Cameron of “playing fast and loose with the union”, adding that unionist politicians should be confronting the nationalist threat and desire for another independence referendum, which he said he was “not having”.

“He should be taking on a nationalist party as I am doing. David Cameron is now threatening the integrity of the UK with the games he is playing,” Miliband said.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Everything Cameron does is “short-term and dangerous”.

    I'd rather have a Labour Government held hostage by the Scots than a Tory Government held hostage by UKIP.

    Of course, the difference is that the Tories wouldn't need to be held hostage by UKIP, because they would enthusiastically pursue UKIP's racist, right-wing agenda, safe in the knowledge that they could blame it all on UKIP.

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