William Hague has been accused of using “ridiculous and extreme language” against the SNP and Labour in a bid to drum up campaign cash for the Conservatives.
In a fundraising email, he called the idea of a United Kingdom Government involving the two opposition parties a “chilling but very real prospect”.
It came after the Tories unveiled a new poster depicting Labour leader Ed Miliband in former First Minister Alex Salmond’s coat pocket.
A senior SNP source said: “This is ridiculous and extreme language from William Hague in Scotland 70% of people would be ‘happy’ with an arrangement at Westminster involving the SNP.”
The row came as one Labour strategist reportedly claimed the two parties could form a “permanent alliance” at a UK level, mirroring the deal between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Christian Social Union in Germany.
However, Scottish Labour MPs are telling voters on the doorstep that they will not do a post- election deal with the SNP despite the leadership still failing to rule out the move definitively.
One said: “The group is united. We won’t do a deal with the SNP.”