NICOLA Sturgeon has said any would-be prime minister seeking SNP support in a hung parliament must be committed to “zero tolerance” on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and any other form of racism.

Taking questions from journalists after her speech, the First Minister was challenged on whether she would continue to support Jeremy Corbyn in a minority government given renewed criticism of his handling of anti-Semitism.

Paul Edlin, the president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, told the Scottish Daily Mail yesterday that she would be doing “a deal with the devil” if she were to help Corbyn into Downing Street.

The SNP leader said Boris Johnson had a string of racist comments on his record and was “dangerous and unfit for office” and she would never prop him up in a minority administration.

But, while saying Corbyn had failed to deal properly with the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, she left open the prospect of supporting him in return for an early independence referendum.

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Launching the SNP’s manifesto in Glasgow, the SNP leader made clear that neither Johnson nor Corbyn would be her choice for prime minister: “I would rather Scotland wasn’t in the position of having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea for the prime minister of our country. I make no bones about that.”

But she added: “I could never support Boris Johnson as prime minister for a whole host of reasons. On issues of racism and racist comments, he has a charge sheet of his own to answer.”

In the event of a hung parliament, she said the SNP would have a responsibility to ensure that a new government had “the right values, policies and priorities”.

She added: “We would be very clear of our expectations of any party leader who wanted the support of the SNP to make clear a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and any form of racism.”

Speaking a day after the Chief Rabbi questioned the Labour leader’s fitness for office, Sturgeon said she did not know whether Corbyn was personally anti-Semitic, but she “deplored” his lack of leadership on the issue.

“If Jeremy Corbyn is in a position of being able to form a minority government, then better to have the influence of SNP MPs, decent SNP MPs, in there who will make sure the right values are to the fore,” she said.

There has been considerable discussion that the SNP would prop up a Corbyn-led Labour government in the event of a hung parliament in return for a second independence referendum next year.

Corbyn and other senior Labour figures have said they would not block a new vote, though have insisted it would not be a priority in the first two years of a Labour government.

At the Scottish Labour manifesto launch last week, party leader Richard Leonard accepted the Scottish Parliament would have a mandate for a new independence referendum if parties standing on a platform to hold a new vote won a majority at the 2021 Holyrood elections.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Lesley Laird accused Sturgeon of putting “separatism” ahead of “socialism”.

“If anyone was under any illusion that the SNP were a progressive party, today’s launch in Glasgow will have opened their eyes to the truth,” she said.

“The spectacle of Nicola Sturgeon threatening a potential Corbyn-led Labour government with the prospect of yet another Tory government if it does not bow to her demands demonstrates yet again that the SNP’s priority is separatism, not socialism.”