SNP leader Sturgeon denies saying she prefers Cameron as PM to Miliband

Nicola Sturgeon, whose personal rating has soared since an assured appearance in the seven way TV debate on Thursday, was said to have told the French ambassador in February that she would rather see Cameron remain in power over Labour leader Ed Miliband, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

She was also reported to have said she did not see Miliband as prime minister material.

The issue is politically sensitive because the allegations could help Labour, whose vote in Scotland has slumped in the wake of an SNP onslaught, with its argument that voting SNP could lead to another Conservative-led government.

The Telegraph’s splash was based on a leaked memo written last month by a British civil servant who had spoken to the French Consul-General to get his account of the meeting between Sturgeon and the ambassador.

Britain’s most senior civil servant later said there would be an inquiry into the source of the leak at Sturgeon’s request.

Cameron’s Conservatives are running neck and neck in the polls with Labour, and commentators predict that Sturgeon’s surging SNP will win capture many Labour seats in Scotland meaning it could hold the balance of power in Westminster.

The Telegraph said the memo appeared to confirm speculation that the SNP wanted another Conservative-led government in London as that could boost support for her party’s campaign for independence.

Last September, Scots rejected voted 55-45 percent to stay part of the United Kingdom but there has been a surge of nationalism since then.

“I think these are damning revelations,” Miliband told Sky News. “What it shows is that while in public the SNP are saying they don’t want to see a Conservative government, in private they are actually saying they do want a Conservative government.”

Sturgeon has ruled out propping up a minority Conservative government but said her party could support a Labour administration.