Alex Salmond has been accused of “hypocrisy of the highest order” after saying he would work with the Conservatives to keep Britain in the EU, despite previously blasting Labour for working with the Tories to keep Scotland in the UK.
The Daily Mail reports that he also said the Prime Minister should hold the EU vote “sooner rather than later” despite dragging out his own independence campaign over several years.
The former Scottish First Minister, now the SNP’s Westminster spokesman on foreign affairs, told BBC Newsnight that even though he did not want Chancellor George Osborne to lead the “in” campaign in Scotland, he said he may still share a platform with him. “I mean, listen, I share platforms with everybody except fascists and non-democrats.”
Osborne is seen as one of the front-runners to lead the pro-EU campaign when the referendum comes, but Salmond is also keen to play a key role. He even boasted: “I’m one of the more popular politicians in the country. I mean I just say that because it’s true.”
Labour MSP for Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie said: “Alex Salmond’s hypocrisy is staggering. After years spent attacking the Labour Party during the referendum, he is now jumping into bed with the Tories on the EU referendum.”
Conservative MSP for North East Scotland Alex Johnstone also called Salmond’s comments “hypocrisy of the highest order”, adding: “Salmond conveniently forgets that he himself relied on the Conservatives in the Scottish parliament during his four years in minority government.
“He then went on to slate Labour politicians in Scotland for campaigning alongside the Conservatives in the independence referendum. Now, because it suits him, the goal posts have changed again.
“But then we’re not surprised by this latest revelation. The SNP change their tune to suit their own agenda.”
An SNP spokesman said: “Alex’s point was that a pro-European campaign shouldn’t be about politics, and George Osborne would be a terrible figurehead in Scotland.”