Party Leaders Step Up General Election Campaigning

8 May 2017, 06:36 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 06:38

Ballot Box

Parties across Scotland are stepping up campaigning with a month until voters go to the polls in the General Election.

Nicola Sturgeon will be in Perth on Monday to tell voters that the SNP will "deliver for Scotland''.

The First Minister said Tory gains made in the Scottish council elections had come from Labour rather than her party and warned that "the Tory mask'' has slipped in recent days.

The First Minister said: "Theresa May's extraordinary attacks on our European partners demonstrate that an unchecked Tory government is prepared to pursue a chaotic hard Brexit if it is in the interests of the Tory Party, whatever the cost to Scotland.

"And even those who voted to Leave the EU should be concerned about the consequences of a hard Brexit that puts winning the votes of Ukip ahead of Scottish jobs.

"The difference between the Tories and the SNP couldn't be clearer. They want to pick fights with Europe. The SNP will fight to protect the interests of the people of Scotland.''

She added: "The evidence is mounting up that the Tories are starting to believe they can do anything to Scotland and get away with it.

"Labour is collapsing but the SNP is dedicated to standing up for Scotland.''

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has challenged her party to redouble efforts over the next month.

She said: "Just as we doubled our numbers of MSPs last year, and doubled our number of councillors last week, we now we have to double our efforts over these next four-and-a-half weeks.

"Because we have a massive fight on our hands against an all-powerful SNP.''

Ms Davidson added: "Across Scotland, it's a two-horse race. And across Scotland, we also know people are looking for somebody to stand up to the SNP.

"So our challenge is this - it's to bring the SNP down to size. To show they can't take Scotland for granted.

"To show that we, the Scottish Conservatives, can lead Scotland's fightback against the SNP.''

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will campaign in Rutherglen on Monday and will tell voters they can "send a message'' to Ms Sturgeon by voting Labour

She said: "The council elections showed people are turning away from the SNP, because they are fed up with the Nationalists' attempt to force another divisive referendum.

"In seats like Rutherglen and Hamilton West, and in most areas across Scotland, it's a two horse race between Labour and the SNP. The only way to stop the Nationalists is to vote Labour.

"The Tories are the party of the 'rape clause' and hard Brexit. Voting Tory doesn't send a message to Nicola Sturgeon - it sends Theresa May back to Downing Street.''

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron is bringing his campaign bus to Scotland on Monday as the party target constituencies such as East Dunbartonshire and Edinburgh West.

Mr Farron said: "In this election people have a straight choice. They can reward Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond by sending another SNP cheerleader for independence to Westminster.

"Or voters can opt for a local Lib Dem champion who will reject independence, oppose a damaging hard Brexit and advocate for investment in mental health and education.''