NICOLA STURGEON has urged voters not to allow Scotland to be “dragged back by the Tories” at the General Election.
Scotland’s First Minister said the Conservatives must not be given a “free hand to do whatever they want to Scotland” on June 8.
Speaking to party activists at The Hub in the east end of Glasgow she said that a vote for the SNP would deliver a “strong voice for Scotland” and ensure “real and effective opposition” in the House of Commons.
She said the council elections on May 4 would offer the SNP a chance to remove the “dead, suffocating hand of Labour” from the city chambers and replace it with a “vibrant, dynamic, ambitious city government.”
And she urged voters to build on that on June 8 by backing the SNP.
She said: “A few weeks later in the General Election on June 8 we must make sure that Scotland’s voice is heard and it is heard loudly and clearly.
“Make no mistake, this General Election really matters to the future of our country.
“It will determine whether Scotland continues to move forward or is dragged back by the Tories and it will ensure that the decisions about the future of our country, whatever that turns out to be, is taken here by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people, not by an increasingly hard-line right wing Tory government at Westminster.”
She added: “Theresa May has already told us what this General Election is about for her. It is about removing opposition and strengthening her hand to do whatever she wants.
“Let us make sure that on June 8 we send a loud message from Scotland that we are not prepared to give a Conservative government a free hand to do whatever it wants to Scotland.”
She contrasted what the Conservatives and SNP have done, saying the SNP is building at least 50,000 new houses while the Tories introduced the Bedroom Tax, and that the SNP is expanding free childcare while the Tories are removing tax credits from working families.
The SNP leader said it is “abundantly obvious” that Labour will not win the General Election, and does not have what it takes to be an effective opposition.
Ms Sturgeon said that only voting SNP will ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard.
She told activists: “An SNP vote will deliver strong voices for Scotland. An SNP vote will also make sure that we back our Scottish parliament against a Conservative government that wants to undermine our Scottish parliament.
“It will make sure that the future of our country is decided here in Scotland, not by a Tory government at Westminster.
“A vote for the SNP will make sure that the Tories do not get away with silencing all opposition as they want to do.
“A vote for the SNP will make sure that there continues to be real and effective opposition in the House of Commons.”
She added: “If Scotland wants to make sure the Tories cannot simply do what they want in Scotland, if we want to make sure there are voices of strong opposition to the Conservatives in Westminster, then the only way to deliver that is with a strong, resounding vote for the SNP in every part of Scotland on June 8.”
Scottish Conservative candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk John Lamont said:
“The SNP is clearly rattled.
“People across Scotland are fed up of its constant sabre-rattling on independence.
“That’s why they’re turning to the Scottish Conservatives, the only party serious about keeping Scotland part of a strong UK.”
Scottish Lib Dem general election campaign chair, Alex Cole-Hamilton, said: “It’s clear the SNP are in abject disarray.
“Today’s position is that independence is not what this election is about, which contrasts from her Yes bike road trip in Stirling earlier on in the week.
“The First Minister’s position is changing more frequently than the traffic lights on Sauchiehall Street, and while the SNP struggle, the Liberal Democrats have a clear message.
“Every Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to keep Scotland in the heart of the UK and the UK at the heart of Europe.”
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