Labour 'Going For Ballot Box Win'

Labour is fighting to beat David Cameron at the ballot box rather than with a "shoddy back room deal'' with the SNP, Jim Murphy has declared.

While the Conservative Prime Minister claimed the price of such a deal would be higher borrowing and increased taxes, the Scottish Labour leader said his party was working to win the election outright.

Mr Murphy insisted: "I want to beat David Cameron at the ballot box, not in some shoddy back room deal. There's only one way of doing that.

"Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond and all the others can huff and puff as much as they want, only Labour is big enough and only Labour is strong enough to beat the Tories.''

In last night's TV election debate Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader, had repeatedly urged Ed Miliband to form an anti-Tory alliance with her party after the May 7 General Election.

She warned Mr Miliband he would not be forgiven if he refused to work with the SNP in a hung parliament to ''lock David Cameron out of Downing Street''.

But as he launched the Scottish Labour manifesto in the east end of Glasgow, Mr Murphy said: "Most Scots haven't forgotten that they (the SNP) brought down a previous Labour government..

"And most Scots will never forgive them if they prevent this Labour government from being elected.''

Labour revealed a number of new policies in its manifesto, including plans to recruit 500 more GPs for the NHS in Scotland in addition to the 1,000 extra nurses already promised.

This would be paid for with the £1 billion the party says would come to Scotland from its mansion tax on properties worth £2 million and above - most of which would be raised in the south of England.

Scottish Labour would create a £200 million fund to help cancer patients, and put the same amount into a new fund for improving mental health treatment, Mr Murphy announced.

To help children in the poorest parts of Scotland 100 new breakfast clubs would be set up in primary schools "because no child should start school on an empty stomach'', Mr Murphy said.

In addition to pledging a job or training place for all young people at risk of becoming long-term unemployed, Mr Murphy announced Labour would guarantee this for older Scots who are long-term jobless, because "no-one should be left behind'' regardless of their age.

He hailed the party's manifesto as a return to the politics of two of Scottish Labour's best known leaders, John Smith and Donald Dewar.

He told activists in Tollcross leisure centre: "In our manifesto I'm proud to say the party of John Smith and Donald Dewar is back in business.''

 

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