LABOUR’S shadow health secretary dismissed concerns from a voter over his party’s attitude towards the SNP as he took calls from LBC listeners.

A man called in to tell Wes Streeting that Labour are missing a “massive opportunity” by viewing the SNP in such a “black and white” way – but the MP insisted that his problems with Nicola Sturgeon’s party are not ones which can be overlooked.

Keir Starmer has repeatedly said he will not do any kind of deals with the SNP before or after a General Election – and played down the prospect of a coalition with the LibDems.

The National:

Meanwhile, a number of Labour councils in Scotland were formed this year with support from the Tories – and Anas Sarwar’s party even suspended two Edinburgh councillors who refused to back such a set-up.

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh even boasted on Politics Live that the members were thrown out because “they weren’t prepared to vote for the Tories over the SNP”.

The LBC caller made the case for a UK Government to be formed of multiple progressive parties – and slammed Labour’s position on working with the SNP.

“I think we need more ambitious change. That needs views from across the political spectrum – a more liberal economic policy, a more socialist approach to caring for people,” he said.

If you go out and actually tell people with a formal pact up front what they’re voting for then you get a proper mandate to govern – and I think the only way you can do that is by bringing people like the Greens and the Liberals and even the SNP into the fold.

“With the SNP, I think you’re being way, way, way too black and white.

“Instead of offering them a guaranteed mandate for another referendum, why not offer instead a revised devolution agreement?” he suggested. “If it’s good enough for Ireland, with the Good Friday Agreement where they get to vote every eight years, why not do that in Scotland as well? It’s their right to self-determination. Of course, common sense dictates you want to keep the Union together, that’s a fine position to have, but allow the people their say.”

Streeting, who is often touted as a possible future leader of his party, dismissed the concerns completely – arguing that the SNP’s beliefs are not at all compatible with his own.

The National:

“Yeah, look, I think for me the answer to your question is sort of implied in what you were demanding from us really, which is this point about honesty,” he told the caller. “The problem we’ve got with the SNP is an honest and fundamental disagreement.

“The SNP want to break up the United Kingdom and want Scottish independence. We fundamentally disagree on that, and it’s not the sort of disagreement you can overlook because it’s about the future of our entire country,” he said.

Streeting added that another referendum “doesn’t feel like the right answer for our country” at this point in time.

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“We’re always prepared to work with other parties and people in other parties where there is a common agreement,” he insisted. “But there’s a lot of that that goes on. But a formal pact – would voters really appreciate that? I’m not so sure.”

An SNP spokesperson told The National: "Scotland's future is for the people of Scotland to decide - not a Westminster politician. Scots have made clear they want the chance to have another say on independence and the SNP will follow through on that manifesto commitment."

Starmer has said on several occasions that he does not support holding an independence referendum.

Speaking at a speech in London recently, he told the audience: “There will be no deal going into a general election and no deal coming out of a general election. And that’s not just about a numbers game as far as I’m concerned. I want to be Prime Minister for the whole of the United Kingdom.

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“I want a Labour government for the whole of the United Kingdom. There is no basis, no basis, for an alliance, with a party who wants to break up the United Kingdom.

“I want to grow the economy. There’s no basis for an alliance with a party that thinks the answer to grow the economy is to put a border between England and Scotland.

“There is no basis for an alliance under a Keir Starmer government between Labour and the SNP.”