Labour MPs, English Tories and Ukip have attacked Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy's plan to pay for 1,000 extra nurses through taxes on mansions south of the Border.


Party colleague Diane Abbott claimed he was "unscrupulously" taking money from Londoners to try to bribe Scots.

In a radio interview yesterday, Ms Abbott accused Mr Murphy of trying to "buy Scottish votes with money expropriated from London."

The MP for London's Hackney, who called Mr Murphy "John" at one point, said more debate was needed on her party's tax policy adding: "Jim Murphy is jumping the gun in an unscrupulous way."

Other London Labour MPs, all thought to be contenders for the city's upcoming mayoral elections, also weighed in.

London Mayor Boris Johnson led the Conservative backlash accusing Mr Murphy of "mugging" English taxpayers.

The row comes just a day after Mr Murphy identified 190,000 Scottish voters he wants to win back to Labour .

Dubbed 'Glasgow man' many are thought to have admired the combative style of Alex Salmond as First Minister and felt he was "sticking up for Scotland".

In what is expected to be their response to Mr Murphy SNP ministers are to make their own announcement about funding for specialist care nurses today.

Yesterday Mr Murphy refused to back down as he set out plans for extra nurses trained in Motor Neurone Disease, cancer care and palliative care and to work in "pressure points" in the NHS including A&E, mental health and health visitors.

The new Scottish Labour leader insisted his pledge was in line with party policy - but insisted he did not have to clear his plans with party leader Ed Miliband.

Labour wants to tax homes worth more than £2million to raise billions for the NHS.

The vast majority of properties affected are in London and the south east of England.

Mr Murphy's pledge would use Scotland's share of that money, allocated under the Barnett formula.

And he was blunt earlier this week that most of the money for his policy would come from "outside Scotland".

The comments led to an angry backlash south of the border.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage warned the policy could backfire and damage Labour's chances in England in the general election.

He told The Herald: "The Labour vote in England is in real danger of losing out in an attempt to appease Scottish voters."

Mr Johnson branded the plan "fiscal vindictiveness" and claimed the Scottish Labour leader was "mugging" the English.

The flamboyant politician, tipped as a future Tory leader, said the move was driven by fears over the party's Scottish seats.

And he accused Scottish Labour of playing into the hands of the SNP.

"This is no way to claim that you are the unifying force in this great country of ours," he said.

"You should not be saying to one group of people: 'you vote for us in Scotland because we're going to.. tax, mug even, squeeze those Londoners until the pips squeak'."

Tessa Jowell warned London was being treated as a "cash cow", while David Lammy claimed money would be "siphoned off" from the UK capital to Scotland.

The new Scottish Labour leader hit back saying his pledge reflected British Labour party policy - and that the mansion tax was UK wide.

He also drew a parallel with North Sea oil, which contributes billions of pounds every year to the UK exchequer.

He warned that the NHS was "increasingly under pressure" in Scotland, adding: "It is estimated that fewer than 1000 homes in Scotland would pay this new mansion tax but we would all benefit from 1,000 more nurses."

Some English Labour MPs also defended the plans.

Shadow care minister Liz Kendall asked where the backlash would end: "(Where) you can't spend money that's raised in the East Midlands?"

The SNP accused Labour of "fighting like ferrets in a sack".

SNP MP Angus Robertson added: "Jim Murphy appears to want to make the General Election campaign about who stands up for Scotland's interests - and he clearly thinks that Westminster Labour don't."

Tory chairman Grant Shapps said: "Jim Murphy's comments show once again that Ed Miliband simply does not command the respect of his party".

A Labour spokesperson said: "A Mansion Tax would benefit all parts of the UK by helping to pay for thousands more doctors, nurses, midwives and care workers."