SNP would hold Labour to ransom claims Osborne in Leeds

THE SNP would hold a minority Labour government to near “constant ransom”, George Osborne claimed today.

Chancellor George Osborne at the Carlsberg plant in Leeds

In a speech in Tingley, Leeds, the Chancellor suggested the uncertainty in the financial markets surrounding a Government propped up by Nicola Sturgeon would discourage businesses from investing in the UK and trigger a rise in the cost of Government borrowing and mortgage interest rates.

He said: “Some people will be out of a job. Some people will pay higher taxes. Some people will see their mortgage bills rise. And everybody will be worse off.”

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The Chancellor told the audience at the Carlsberg depot that voters should not be fooled into thinking all hung parliaments would be as stable as the one seen in the last five years.

Chancellor George Osborne at the Carlsberg plant in Leeds

He said it was clear the SNP and Labour would not enter into a formal coalition and the nationalists would instead offer support to a minority Labour government on an issue by issue basis.

“So they have every possible incentive to prove their credentials by holding an Ed Miliband government to near constant ransom, extracting every additional pound they can for Scotland, breeding resentment on both sides of the border, and doing everything they can to make the UK Government look weak and shambolic.

“That provides them with the perfect backdrop for success in the Scottish Parliament elections and a springboard for another referendum.

“I don’t often agree with Gordon Brown but he was right when he said last night that this would mean ‘constitutional chaos’,” he said.

Behind the scenes at the Chancellor's event in Leeds

Mr Osborne claimed his views of the economic risk of a Labour administration propped up by the SNP was backed up by a wealth of analysis from international financial institutions.

“Their professional judgements on the prospects for our economy are chilling – and millions of British people will pay the price,” he said.