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Sturgeon: Ridiculous to say SNP council campaign is all about PM

© Russell Cheyne/PA WireNicola Sturgeon on the campaign trail
Nicola Sturgeon on the campaign trail

Nicola Sturgeon rejected claims she is attempting to turn the council election into a vote on Boris Johnson and independence because the SNP has failed to tackle local issues.

The first minister was on the campaign trail for the local elections in Glasgow yesterday and said it was a ridiculous criticism.

She continued: “Nobody can read the manifesto and reach that conclusion. It’s just a bizarre, irrational thing to say. Our manifesto puts local services and the cost-of-living crisis front and centre.

“It’s no secret the SNP supports independence and won a mandate for an independence referendum but anybody who’s saying that is frankly playing politics and hasn’t read the manifesto so it’s a ridiculous assertion.”

Sturgeon was optimistic her party can retain leadership of Glasgow City Council, after taking control at the last local government elections in 2017.

Previously the local authority was held by Scottish Labour, with leader Anas Sarwar confident that his party can win it back.

The SNP administration has come under fire for its management of the city, however, and Sturgeon added: “You need to work really hard to win any election. You have to work hard to win the trust of people in the first place.

“You have to work hard to regain that trust, and we’re campaigning hard in Glasgow and across the country.”

Anas Sarwar in Hamilton (Pic: Andrew Cawley)

Meanwhile, Sarwar was on the campaign trail visiting New Douglas Park, home of Scottish Championship side Hamilton Accies, where he urged Scots to give the Tories the red card because the problems in Downing Street were, he said, a diversion and allowed the SNP an easy ride.

He said: “Boris Johnson is a gift to the SNP. Every time there is an SNP failure, Boris Johnson is on the cover of newspapers and Nicola Sturgeon can say to people: ‘Look, we are not as bad as him.’”

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross met with election hopeful Mary Scanlon to canvass in Tornagrain near Inverness.

Scanlon, 74, served as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands from 1999 to 2006 and again from 2007 to 2016. She is standing in the Culloden and Ardersier ward.