Key SNP figure defects to Labour claiming Nats really DO want Tory election victory

ASIANS for Independence organiser Muhammad Shoaib said he was “shocked” at the way SNP members in Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency are secretly backing another five years of David Cameron.

A KEY figure in the independence movement has sensationally defected to Labour – and claimed many SNP activists really ARE hoping for a Tory victory.

Nicola Sturgeon’s election campaign suffered a major setback last night after Asians for Independence organiser Muhammad Shoaib resigned from her party in disgust.

Shoaib – who worked closely with SNP leaders during the referendum campaign – said he was “shocked” at the way senior SNP members in Sturgeon’s Glasgow constituency are secretly backing another five years of David Cameron.

The former Pollokshields SNP branch convener shared a platform with Sturgeon and former first minister Alex Salmond during the referendum campaign as their party stepped up efforts to reach out to Asian voters.

And Sturgeon publicly praised him as an “honourable man” in an election leaflet.

But he says he will now focus on helping Labour evict the Tories from Downing Street and ensuring Ed Miliband is the UK’s next Prime Minister.

He said: “Nobody campaigned harder for a Yes vote than I did. I led Asians for Independence and badly wanted Scotland to vote Yes. But that was last year’s vote.

“In a few weeks we will have a different vote to decide the Government and it’s a clear choice between five more years of the Tories or a jobs guarantee for young people, an £8 minimum wage and a vote to protect the NHS with Labour.”

Businessman Shoaib, 62, vented his disgust at senior SNP figures who he claims hope the Tories will form the next UK Government because they think it will improve the chances of another independence referendum.

He said: “I have been a senior member of Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency for years and I am deeply saddened that many of my former colleagues in the SNP secretly hope for another Tory government.

“I have become more and more shocked that many in the SNP want to put the interests of the SNP before the interests of Scotland, and their secret hopes for a Tory government betray their true motives.

“I can no longer stay silent and stand idly by.”

And the father of four, a former Justice of the Peace, said: “That is why today I am backing Labour as the only party big enough and strong enough to kick the Tories out.”