Election could put end to SNP push for independence, says Ross

A loss at the General Election could put an end to the SNP’s push for independence, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has said as he prepares to launch his party’s campaign in the seat held by John Swinney.

Leader Douglas Ross will join activists and candidates in Perth on Tuesday – part of the First Minister’s Perthshire North constituency at the Scottish Parliament – with the outgoing Moray MP saying he wants to “put (Mr Swinney) on notice” that his party are “coming for” the seat and others held by the SNP.

At the party’s conference last year, SNP activists voted to back former leader Humza Yousaf’s plans to seek “democratic effect” from the UK Government if the party wins a majority of seats in Scotland.

Speaking ahead of the launch, which is expected to focus on key Tory messages, Mr Ross said: “We’re here in John Swinney’s back yard to put him on notice that the Scottish Conservatives are coming for SNP seats like this one.

John Swinney
The Tories will take their campaigning to the Perthshire seat held by John Swinney (Lesley Martin/PA)

“Like so many seats across Scotland, this one is a straight contest between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP.

“In this election, the opportunity is there to finally end their independence demands for good.

“For more than a decade, ever since that once-in-a-generation referendum, the SNP have focused only on independence at the expense of everything else.

“Voters have a once-in-a-generation chance to beat the SNP by voting Scottish Conservative in key seats up and down the country.

“By beating the SNP, we can get all of the focus over the next five years onto creating good jobs, reducing NHS waiting lists and investing to improve our public services.

“Scotland has had enough of the SNP’s non-stop demands for independence and the way they overlook the issues that really matter.

“Let’s get out there and fight for the neglected patients, pupils, parents, workers who have been let down by the SNP.

“Let’s get out there and win in key seats right across Scotland. Let’s get out there and beat the SNP.”

SNP MP and candidate for Perth and Kinross-Shire Pete Wishart said: “We need to get rid of the Tory Government. The way to do that in Scotland is to vote SNP, because we are the main challengers in every Tory-held seat.

“Westminster has inflicted austerity, Brexit and a cost-of-living crisis on Scotland – these decisions have pushed up household costs, hit the economy hard and cut the money available to spend on the NHS.

“The SNP in government has shown how the best decisions are those made in Scotland, for Scotland – we have delivered the best performing A&E units in the UK for nine years, helped households struggling with Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis, and we are keeping 100,000 children out of poverty through the Scottish Child Payment.

“At the General Election, vote for the SNP and unite Scotland for a future where all of the decisions about Scotland are made in Scotland, for Scotland.”