Miliband brands Sturgeon memo “damning” on Yorkshire campaign stop

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ED Miliband described a leaked memo suggesting SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon wants David Cameron to stay in Downing Street as “damning” during a campaign visit in Yorkshire this morning.

The revelation has the potential to undermine Ms Sturgeon’s publicly stated desire to “lock out” David Cameron from Downing Street as she tries to win support from Labour voters in Scotland.

Ed Miliband speaks to The Yorkshire Post in Woodlesford today

Ed Miliband speaks to The Yorkshire Post in Woodlesford today

The Daily Telegraph reported a memo of a meeting between Ms Sturgeon and French ambassador Sylvie Bermann recorded the Scottish First Minister as saying she would prefer to see Mr Cameron stay as Prime Minister.

Speaking in Woodlesford today, Mr Miliband told The Yorkshire Post: “I think these are pretty damning revelations. I think there’s only one way to get a Labour government and that’s to vote Labour and this story rather suggests that true.

“We are not going to be sharing power with them because we have said we are not going to have a coalition so that’s not going to arise. We want a majority Labour Government anyway but we are not having a coaltion with the SNP.”

The note was written by a British civil servant following a conversation with consul-general Pierre-Alain Coffinier regarding the meeting between Ms Sturgeon and ambassador Sylvie Bermann,

Mr Coffinier, who was present at the meeting, confirmed that he had talked “in broad terms” to the UK Government’s Scotland Office about the ambassador’s visit, but denied saying that Ms Sturgeon had expressed a preference about the election outcome and said he could not recall any casual comment which could have been interpreted in this way.

Ms Sturgeon has also denied the allegation although she can expect to be pressed on the issue as she campaigns today.

Mr Miliband was in Woodlesford to rally supporters with Labour’s candidate for the Elmet and Rothwell seat, Veronica King, before heading to Warrington where he will set out plans for a £5 billion fund to build 125,000 homes over the next five years.

Banks and building societies offering the First Time Buyer ISA announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget will have to use the money deposited with them to invest in new house-building.

Mr Miliband said: “The dream of home ownership is fading for so many people, so many young families.

“What we are saying today is let’s make sure the banks play their part, make their contribution to using some of the money they have to invest in housing and build homes again in our country.”

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