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Nicola Sturgeon accuses Labour of ‘throwing open the door’ to Tories after Christian Wakeford’s defection

Nicola Sturgeon accused Labour and the Tories of being “interchangeable” after Conservative MP Christian Wakeford defected to Keir Starmer’s party.

The first minister told Anas Sarwar his Westminster colleagues had “thrown open the door” to their rivals in a heated Holyrood row during First Minister’s Questions.

Bury South MP Mr Wakeford stunned the House of Commons with his shock departure from the Tories on Wednesday, as Boris Johnson refused to quit over the No10 party scandal.

Labour leader Mr Starmer hailed his decision to cross the floor – but came in for criticism from the SNP leader today.

Mr Sarwar slammed Ms Sturgeon over the £700 million ScotWind deal and accused her of ignoring human rights concerns for a quick profit like the Tories.

The Glasgow MSP alleged that major firms investing in Scotland’s seabeds had bribed officials and exploited low-paid workers.

‘Political desperation’

But he was blasted for “political desperation” by the First Minister who claimed there was now “little difference” between Westminster’s two biggest parties.

She said: “I’m just sitting here reflecting almost unbelievably actually that Anas Sarwar has just accused me of behaving like a Tory the day after his party threw open the doors to a Tory MP.

“There is now so little difference between Labour and the Tories that their MPs are just interchangeable.”

She added that Labour were “talking down” the country – but Mr Sarwar accused the SNP leader of a “brass neck” and said she had “sold out” Scottish jobs with the renewables auction.

‘Not fit for Labour’

Mr Wakeford’s defection to the opposition was met by criticism yesterday by one of Labour’s MSPs.

North-east politician Mercedes Villalba criticised his voting record and said he was “not fit” to be in the party.

The first minister also clashed with Scottish Tory boss Douglas Ross during this afternoon’s FMQs.

The Holyrood Conservative leader claimed the SNP leader had been “too gung ho” when introducing fresh Covid restrictions last month.

But Ms Sturgeon defended the Omicron curbs which are now to be scrapped and claimed caution was needed to stop infections from rising.

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