Alex Salmond angers Tories over SNP voting hints

Alex Salmond said SNP MPs could stop abstaining on English-only laws

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Alex Salmond faced a Tory backlash after he hinted that Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs could abandon their usual practice of abstaining  on English-only laws in return for sustaining a minority Labour government.

His suggestion, in an interview yesterday with The Independent, provoked Conservative anger as any deal could mean English legislation being passed by parties lacking a majority south of the border.

Gavin Barwell, the MP for Croydon Central, said: “I think my constituents would be outraged to learn that Scottish MPs could prop up a government without a majority in England.” The Commons Leader, William Hague, has hit out at the “cosy deals”  with Labour being floated by other parties. The SNP believes it could win a large block of seats in May’s general election and act as kingmakers in a hung parliament.

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage said he would be ready to cut a deal with Labour next May if necessary. He told LBC radio that it was “not absolutely impossible” that Ed Miliband would require Ukip support to get into Downing Street.