Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer explained to the Unite conference that Labour's interest is the " economic security of working people." ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP / ANDY BUCHANAN

The Labour Party and the Scottish National Party (SNP) have been accused of having a "dirty deal" that would "wipe the Tories off the map" and ensure left-wing victory at the next general election.

The accusation comes after Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf reached out to Labour Leader Keir Starmer to discuss a potential wish list and "shared interests".

Inviting the Labour Party Leader to Scotland for talks, Yousaf said he was "very willing" to work with a Labour government if the left-wing party wins the next general election – expected to be held before January 2025.

According to Yousaf, Starmer is "undoubtedly" going to be the next Prime Minister and the SNP thinks that it is the perfect time to "establish a working relationship".

"When it comes to Keir Starmer being the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which I think he absolutely will be, I should say I'm very willing to work with an incoming Labour government," Scotland's First Minister continued.

"I think there's plenty we can work on," Yousaf told reporters, noting that "there will be disagreements, the constitution perhaps being the obvious one, but I do think there's plenty of areas we could work on".

Scotland's First Minister continued to call on Labour to "scrap the bedroom tax, which is keeping too many people in poverty", together with the two-child benefit limit.

After scrapping the child benefit cap, Labour would see "250,000 children out of poverty across the UK", along with "15,000 children here in Scotland", Yousaf said.

Although Starmer denied having a secret 10-year plan that would reverse Brexit, the "shared interests" between Labour and the SNP also include Britain re-joining the EU's trade bloc and holding another independence referendum in Scotland.

Conservative MPs called the unexpected collaboration a "dirty deal", which led to Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper refuting the accusations in an interview with BBC reporters.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, the Tory MP for Bassetlaw, criticised the SNP's olive branch, saying: "This correspondence just goes to show that you can't trust Labour or the SNP not to do some sort of dirty deal... A Labour government, propped up by the SNP, puts the union at risk and also raises the prospect of re-joining the EU."

Despite being part of a party that was criticised for back-tracking on net zero promises, Clarke-Smith added: "Both parties are committed to extreme and impractical net zero policies that simply make people colder, poorer and would plunge the country into debt."

Cooper announced that Starmer did not accept the SNP invitation to Scotland and claimed that the Labour Party was "not doing deals with the SNP".

"Humza Yousaf should spend less time commenting on elections and more on fixing the mess the SNP have made," another Labour MP said.

The Shadow Home Secretary also told reporters: "The important thing is to have a Labour government elected, to get rid of the Conservatives where everything feels broken right across the country."

Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar also criticised the potential relationship. Sarwar said that the SNP was being "completely chaotic" that would lead to much confusion amongst voters during the run-up to the next general election.

"How bizarre that you have the SNP saying that Scottish votes don't matter. Every Scottish vote matters," he said.

The Scottish Labour Leader went on to tell reporters that the SNP "seem to have gone in a matter of weeks from saying you don't need to vote Labour because they can't win in England to now saying you don't need to vote for Labour because they can't lose in England".

Sarwar went on to claim: "Polls are going to narrow, polls are going to tighten. We could be months away from an election. That's what happens in an election campaign, is that the argument gets more face to face."