SIR KEIR Starmer would break his word and work with the SNP in a hung parliament if it meant entering Downing Street, the party’s Westminster leader has predicted. 

Stephen Flynn said the UK Labour leader had a track record of changing his mind, and would change it again if the parliamentary arithmetic made it worthwhile.

Last week’s local election results suggested Labour could scrape home with an overall majority at the general election expected next year, but only just.

The party had been hoping for a double-digit lead over the Tories on projected national vote share, but it was nine per cent.

Although this would be enough to make Labour the biggest party in 2024, it means a majority is far from certain, despite Sir Keir later predicting the party would win one.

Mr Flynn, whose party faces a squeeze in a polarised Labour-Tory fight, today insisted he was upbeat about holding the balance of power in a hung parliament.

Sir Keir, who could work with the Liberal Democrats in such a scenario, has repeatedly ruled out working with the SNP as their price would be a second independence referendum.

But Mr Flynn, who has asked Labour and LibDem supporters to lend their votes to the SNP to “lock out the Tories”, said that position could change.

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He told BBC Radio Scotland: “I’m actually quite excited about where we are at the moment because what we see is a big shift away from the Conservatives in England.

“But it’s a shift that is not going to deliver a majority government for Labour at Westminster and that very much brings us into play because it affords us the opportunity, the very real opportunity, of holding the balance of power at Westminster.

“We would be very clear in terms of our asks. We would want the cost of living to be put front and centre of the policy prospectus of any UK government.

“We would want to see the damage that has been caused by Brexit rolled back, not just to boost our economy but to boost our public services as well.

“And of course, we would be very, very keen to see a UK government, particularly a UK Labour government, deliver the powers to Holyrood to hold an independence referendum.”

Reminded of Sir Keir’s refusal to work with the SNP, Mr Flynn said: “This is the same Keir Starmer who quite openly dropped his opposition to Brexit, he dropped his opposition to nationalisation, he dropped his opposition to scrapping tuition fees, and he dropped his opposition at the weekend to repealing anti-protest legislation.

“We know that Keir Starmer is desperate to be prime minister. The key thing here is that the Tories have continued to ignore Scotland - will Labour?”

“Keir Starmer is a man who has broken many of his pledges, not just to the Labour party but to the wider British public in order to try and become prime minister. He is not going to walk away from becoming prime minister simply to deny many of our asks.”

Pressed on whether the SNP would ever vote down a Labour government and allow the Tories to return to power, Mr Flynn said his party would not.

“Under no circumstances would we seek to put a Tory government in place, I mean any suggestion to that effect is absurd,” he said.

Asked why Labour would ever need the SNP in that case, the Aberdeen South MP said: “It means that Labour would very much need us, and the reason for that is because they would need to ensure they had a parliamentary majority.

“And we would of course be supportive of that if our asks were met and, our asks are very clear and clean and I think are ones that tie in with the priorities of the people of Scotland.

“Keir Starmer, who has broken many of his pledges not just to the Labour Party but to the wider British public, in order to try and become prime minister, he's not going to walk away from becoming Prime Minister simply to deny many of our asks.

“I think that's something that the people of Scotland would be very supportive of, and that balance of power would make a real difference in terms of ensuring that Scottish MPs finally have a key role to play at Westminster.”

Earlier, Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said Labour could get a majority if it won 124 of its target seats across the country.

He said: “We've got to a position whereby we had our worst election result in 100 years in 2019 to a position of being ahead in the polls and actually winning elections at the ballot box and that's where we need to be there. It's time to show that not only can the Conservatives lose the next election, but Labour can certainly win it and win it well.”

Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy said: “It’s clear that the summit of Labour’s ambitions is leading a weak minority government. 

“Ian Murray said they are targeting 124 seats and, even if they won them all, that would still leave them shy of an overall majority.

“Keir Starmer is counting on some kind of backroom coalition or deal, which is why the SNP are gleefully touting themselves as potential kingmakers.

“Stephen Flynn knows - as voters do - that Labour would cave into SNP demands for indyref2 if that was the price for getting the keys to Downing Street.

“Ian Murray’s assurances to the contrary ring hollow given Keir Starmer has backtracked on so many other policies his deputy, Angela Rayner, recently repeatedly failed to rule out a future Labour government granting the powers to hold a referendum to the SNP and Anas Sarwar has supported SNP laws at Holyrood.”