Setting the record straight on talking to the SNP

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The Scotsman carries a story today that says (amongst other things):

THE man credited as being the author of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policy is to deliver a series of pre-election briefings to the SNP, who he has advised to abandon its support for a currency union as part of a radical shift in the party’s economic ­approach.

Richard Murphy, the author of bestselling book The Joy Of Tax, has told how he attended talks with a senior nationalist MP in London that were sanctioned by the party leadership.

He has described a currency union as “the weakness at the heart of SNP policy” in the 2014 referendum. The campaigner also said that the SNP was allowing big business to dominate the issue of tax devolution.

Murphy is due in Edinburgh in mid-April in the run-up to the Holyrood election, when he will meet senior SNP politicians for talks on how to use newly devolved tax powers to promote greater social justice.

He said: “I’ve talked to the SNP in London about what taxes should be devolved and about what currency an independent Scotland could use.

Let's get the record straight then, as much of this implies things I did not say.

It is quite clear my links with Jeremy Corbyn are loose.

And I have never said I am giving a series of pre-election briefings to the SNP.

I have met two SNP MPs recently, one for lunch. But I have not a clue if such meetings were sanctioned by the SNP leadership and have never hinted they were.

And I have been invited to Scotland in April, but I never said that the trip had anything to do with the SNP, although I did say I would be open to meeting interested parties whilst I was there.

And the meeting with the SNP in London was with its London branch, in December, as I clearly explained.

Someone is making mountains out of a series of events here and if the SNP are upset, I apologise: facts have been distorted here to imply things I have simply not said.

I do have opinions on tax and devolution and think this is a vital issue, and am more than happy to talk about them. But to imply I am in any way and SNP adviser now is wrong, and inappropriate. I am happy to talk to parties, of course. But this implies I am doing more than that and that is incorrect.