THE Alba Party have slammed Keir Starmer, stating that Labour and the Tories are now “two cheeks of the same backside”.

Alba’s criticism came on the back of Starmer confirming a Labour government would not scrap the two-child benefit cap. He has also said he “does not mind” if he is labelled fiscally conservative.

Alba’s general secretary Chris McEleny said Starmer’s support for “abhorrent” Tory policies shows the Labour Party is now a “moral vacuum” and that voters can no longer “spot the difference” between Labour and Tory policies.

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In an interview on Sunday with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, the Labour leader refused to be drawn on a number of spending commitments but was definite on the benefit cap, recently described by his shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth as “heinous” and which his deputy, Angela Rayner, called “obscene and inhumane” back in 2020.

The policy means households with more than two children where Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit is claimed do not receive extra funds.

Last week, latest statistics revealed that 1.5 million children were growing up in families impacted by the cap. Children’s charities, including Barnados and the Child Poverty Action Group, have said this “tax on siblings” is the “biggest driver of rising child poverty in the UK today”.

When asked about housing benefit, and whether it would be unfrozen, Starmer said: “Well, we will set that out closer to the election or when we set that out. I’m not committing to that here.”

Alba say Starmer’s remarks confirm it is now “impossible to spot the difference” between Labour policies and those of the Tories.

In a new leaflet released yesterday, Alba list a host of policy positions the Labour Party and the Tories are in harmony on, from being opposed to freedom of movement and Scotland having entry into the European single market, to support for tuition fees, the two-child benefit cap and the renewal of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde.

Alba Party’s general secretary Chris McEleny (below) says the lack of difference between Starmer’s Labour and the Tories shows why Scotland cannot afford to let either party win seats from pro-independence candidates at next year’s General Election.

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Alba say they want a “Scotland United” pro-independence pact to fight the next General Election in Scotland – seeking a mandate to enter independence negotiations with the UK Government.

McEleny said: “Harold Wilson once told a Labour Party conference that ‘the Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing’. At the current rate, Keir Starmer will no doubt use his next conference speech to tell his party members that the Labour Party under his leadership is a moral vacuum or it is nothing!

“This latest pronouncement – that Labour won’t reverse the Tory rape clause – makes it increasingly difficult to spot the difference between Keir Starmer’s party and that of Rishi Sunak. To borrow a phrase often used in the west of Scotland, it is clear that the Labour Party and the Tories are still two cheeks of the same backside.

“With Westminster we will always lose and we will always be vulnerable to having abhorrent policies imposed upon us.

“The next General Election must be fought as Scotland United, with every candidate having as the first line of their manifesto that they seek a mandate to enter independence negotiations with the UK Government. That is the only way Scotland can free itself from a morally bankrupt UK.”