MONICA LENNON has given the “red card” to the idea of joining forces with the Tories to form a union coalition.
The MSP, who is hoping to become Scottish Labour’s next leader, said on social media that she would not work with the Scottish Conservatives to block a second independence referendum.
Her leadership rival Anas Sarwar has also ruled out the idea.
Douglas Ross MP wrote that he would consider a “unionist coalition” and challenged both Lennon and Sarwar to support one.
He said: “If it means stopping the SNP and their push for Indyref2, I would be part of a unionist coalition. The last Scottish Labour leader wouldn’t work with us. Will you?”
The MP for Moray and Scottish Conservative leader said earlier today that voters would “want to know if the Labour leadership candidates will put the Union first or their own tribal politics first.”
Ms Lennon responded that it was a “red card” from her perspective, referring to Mr Ross’s role as a professional football referee.
She said: “That’s very flattering Douglas but it’s a red card from me.
“See you on the campaign trail where we’ll be fighting for radical social and economic change, not a political agenda that looks after the wealthy few.”
The MSP, who is the party’s health spokeswoman, has said she believes Labour should campaign for more devolution, but should not block another referendum.
Meanwhile Mr Sarwar, the current constitution spokesman, said he did not believe Scots wanted politicians to focus on another poll in the midst of the pandemic.
In response to Mr Ross’s challenge, he said “No, I won’t.
“A quarter of Scottish kids are growing up in poverty while you and the SNP divide our country.
“Instead I will focus on bringing people together and rebuilding our country – not a return to the divisive politics of old.”
Next Scottish Labour leader urged to join Tories in fight against SNP
The pair were interviewed on BBC radio Scotland this morning, where they both agreed that Scottish Labour would be its own voice, separate from that of the UK Labour party although would work closely with leader Sir Keir Starmer.