Sturgeon’s secret backing for Cameron

April 4, 2015 at 11:14 am (elections, populism, posted by JD, scotland, Tory scum, truth)

From today’s Daily Telegraph … Sturgeon denies this, but she would, wouldn’t she? Who can seriously doubt that this is almost certainly true, if only on the principle of cui bono?

Nicola Sturgeon secretly backs David Cameron

The SNP leader told the French Ambassador in February that she would prefer that “David Cameron remain” in Downing Street, according to an official account of their conversation seen by The Daily Telegraph.


Nicola Sturgeon addresses the SNP conferene in Glasgow Photo: Reuters

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, has privately said that she would “rather see” David Cameron win the general election because Ed Miliband is not “prime minister material”, a leaked memorandum seen by The Telegraph has revealed.

The SNP leader told the French Ambassador in February that she would prefer that “David Cameron remain” in Downing Street, according to an official account of their conversation seen by this newspaper.

The disclosure undermines public claims made by Miss Sturgeon this week that she wants to build a “progressive” alliance with Ed Miliband and other left-wing parties to keep the Conservatives out of office.

It appears to confirm growing speculation in Scotland that the SNP would privately favour another Conservative-led Westminster government – which it could campaign against in a bid to stoke up anti-English sentiment and make an “out” vote more likely in another referendum.

The Telegraph has seen the official British Government memorandum which includes details of a private meeting between Miss Sturgeon and Sylvie Bermann, the French Ambassador to the UK.

The memorandum which was written by a senior British civil servant, dated March 6th, states: “Just had a telephone conversation with Pierre-Alain Coffinier (PAC), the French CG [consul-general]. He was keen to fill me in on some of the conversations his Ambassador had during her visit to Scotland last week. All of this was given on a confidential basis.”
It continues: “The Ambassador….had a truncated meeting with the FM [Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister] (FM running late after a busy Thursday…). Discussion appears to have focused mainly on the political situation, with the FM stating that she wouldn’t want a formal coalition with Labour; that the SNP would almost certainly have a large number of seats… that she’d rather see David Cameron remain as PM (and didn’t see Ed Miliband as PM material).”

The civil servant appeared so surprised by the private admission made by Miss Sturgeon that he questioned whether there might have been an issue with the “translation” during the conversation.

However, it was later established that the conversation took place in English as all the French officials are fluent.

It is a common diplomatic courtesy if an ambassador to the UK visits one of the three devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for the British Government to be given an official readout of the conversation although the SNP leader, who has only been in position since the autumn, may have been unaware of this formality.

The disclosure of her private comments may undermine Miss Sturgeon’s new-found popularity, after she was judged by snap opinion polls to have “won” Thursday night’s general election debate with six other party leaders. 

She is increasingly seen as a potential “kingmaker” in any Coalition talks as Labour support in Scotland has slumped with the SNP expected to gain dozens of seats in next month’s general election.

Yesterday, Miss Sturgeon was mobbed after she returned to Scotland in scenes reminiscent of the “Cleggmania” recorded after the Liberal Democrat leader’s success in the 2010 general election debates.


Miss Sturgeon’s comments may threaten the SNP’s huge opinion poll lead in Scotland, which is built on the support of traditional Labour voters who have grown disillusioned with the party but remain hostile to the Tories.

Yesterday, unaware that the memo had been leaked to the Telegraph, she continued to openly back Mr Miliband.

“If the SNP and Labour combined have more MPs than the Tories do – if there is an anti-Tory majority – we can lock David Cameron out of Downing Street,” she said.

“I’ve challenged Ed Miliband, and I do so again: if we have that anti-Tory majority, the SNP has said we will vote to stop a Tory government even getting off the ground.”

Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, and Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, said the “astonishing” account of her comments proves that the SNP really wants a Tory Government with few or no MPs in Scotland, allowing the party to push the case for a second independence referendum.

Mr Murphy said: “This is a devastating revelation that exposes the uncomfortable truth behind the SNP’s General Election campaign. For months Nicola Sturgeon has been telling Scots she wants rid of David Cameron yet behind closed doors with foreign governments she admits she wants a Tory Government. It’s déjà vu all over again – the SNP say one thing in public but another private.”

Mr Rennie said: “It is astonishing that Nicola Sturgeon can look people in the eye and declare the SNP would never support the Conservatives in government when in private she secretly wants them to win.

“Despite her fluffy, positive words about working with the rest of the UK this reveals her sole ambition is to break up the UK. I’ve no doubt that the Tories in government alone would fuel the Nationalist fires. She is open with foreign diplomats about her wishes now she needs to end the chicanery and be open with the voters.”

Ms Sturgeon’s stated views in the document come after a number of opinion polls showed that Mr Cameron has significantly higher approval ratings in Scotland than Mr Miliband.


  1. John Palmer said,

    In its rightward lurch to the Labour Party, the AWL, has lost the elementary capacity to detect a blatant Torygraph LIE. Yes, the LP and Tory leaderships (like the AWL) are scared by the SNP. But not the rest of us.

    • Jim Denham said,

      So you’re in favour of erecting a nationalist barrier, where none presently exists, eh John?

      As for the “Torygraph” origin of this story: to paraphrase George Orwell: simply because something appears in the Daily Telegraph, that doesn’t make it any less true.

  2. Pluriel said,

    here’s what the memo actually says:

    “…FM stating that she wouldn’t want a formal coalition with Labour; that the SNP would almost certainly have a large number of seats; that she had no idea ‘what kind of mischief’ Alex Salmond would get up to; and confessed that she’d rather see David Cameron remain as PM (and didn’t see Ed Miliband as PM material). I have to admit that I’m not sure that the FM’s tongue would be quite so loose on that kind of thing in a meeting like that, so it might well be a case of something being lost in translation.”

    In other words, the civil servant states that she doesn’t think it likely that Sturgeon actually said these things, making you wonder what this story is about?

    • Jim Denham said,

      Nobody in their right mind doubts that the SNP want the Tories to win. And it works both ways: the Tories were effusive in boosting Sturgeon after the debate

  3. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    The SNP are as near as you can get to the Tories. 1. They have tax raising powers to get rid of the bedroom tax and foodbanks but will not use those powers. 2. They have frozen council tax for years to the benefit of the rich.
    They used to complain about the Tories capping local income tax many years ago! Seems to have all been forgotten. The Nats are a bunch of middle class lawyer types and their emapthy towards the working class is false.

  4. Rosie said,

    The whole thing is puzzling. I agree that the SNP would like the Tories to win. They’re playing the long game of independence and don’t give a toss about what happens to the rest of the UK. Also, the bit about Salmond being a loose cannon rings true. But I can’t see Sturgeon telling this to anyone outside of a very close circle of SNP strategists. She isn’t stupid and she’s not a motor-mouth like Salmond.

  5. Jim Denham said,

    • John Palmer said,

      No, Jim, the liars are the Torygraph and those who circulate their lies. The fact that you do so not only after Sturgeon has denied that anything like that was said but also the fact that the French ambassador has also denied the report in terms, only compounds the offence. Remember the French government is a bitter opponent of so-called “separatism.” Actually Sturgeon’s left social democratic policies against austerity build bridges between Scots workers and those from the other UK nations. But, given your line Jim, can I assume that your advice to Ed Miliband is to reject her offer of a common stance against Cameron’s austerity policies.

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Mr Palmer the SNP have tax raising powers to end austerity and foodbanks or do they just want more handouts from the majority non Scottish population?

      • Jim Denham said,

        Somehow, John, I don’t find the fact that an ambassador denied hearing the statement any more persuasive than the fact that Sturgeon denies making it. They would, wouldn’t they?

  6. Andrew Coates said,

    So the SNL is the first nationalist party in history, the first separatist party, that exists to ‘build bridges’ between nations.

    The SNP want to protect ‘Scotland’, its political base and the fraction of capital that backs it, not anybody else.

    From its refusal to vote on privatisaiton of the NHS (in England) to its plans for cutting corporation tax in Scotland, that should be clear to anybody not fuddled by warmed up Tom Nairnism, and visions of a Merrie England ‘free’ from ‘Ukania’.

    • John Palmer said,

      Andrew – Are you serious? Is an SNP led Scotland fighting to stay within the European Union more “nationalist” than Labourites who range from soft Eurosceptics to those who refuse to fight for closer European integration? The reality is that the more SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green MPs are elected, the greater the muscle behind those left Labour MPs who are serious about opposing austerity, privatisation etc.

      • Jim Denham said,

        The SNP’s pro-European stance is their one saving grace.

  7. Rosie said,

    This is quite interesting. Sturgeon hankers back to the Labour Party under Michael Foot:-

    • Joe Baxter said,

      Sturgeon doesn’t hanker after anything Labour – she has stated she would never have joined the LP and the SNP was always her first and only choice.

      Torrance’s criticism of those who believe the LP should have prioritised its own No campaign is bizarre and also baseless – is the guy a Tory by any chance.

      This article is very interesting on the relationship between erstwhile non-nationalist socialists and the SNP –

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        It is baseless. We in Labour Glasgow South West ran our own funded campaign and were not involded in any way with other parties.

  8. Andy said,

    Both Sturgeon and the Ambassador deny the claim. Understandable why Sturgeon might deny it – but there is absolutely no logical reason why an uninvolved French Ambassador would go out of his way to lie for her.

    This is a pretty discredited smear which even Labour in Scotland are backing away from.

    • Jim Denham said,

      ” there is absolutely no logical reason why an uninvolved French Ambassador would go out of his way to lie for her” … except that he’s an ambassador. Lying/finessing (call it what you will) is what they are trained to do, and what they’re paid to do.

  9. Andy said,

    Also the basis of this story is tenuous – why would the French ambassador report Sturgeon’s comments to a civi servant? Craig Murray has already denied such a protocol exists, of reporting private comments to the UK civil service.

    If such a protocol did exist it’s hard to imagine Sturgeon would have told him anything confidential (or for that matter than anyone would ever tell any ambassador anything they wouldn’t want their host nation to hear)

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