Politicians 'United In Defence Of Democracy' As Election Campaigning Restarts

26 May 2017, 05:17

General Election

Nicola Sturgeon has said all General Election campaigners will be "united in defence of our democracy'' as the campaigning formally resumes.

Political parties across the country suspended campaigns following the Manchester terrorist attack on Monday.

Leaders from several of Scotland's main parties said those affected by the bombing would remain on their minds as they returned to the election campaign trail on Friday in a show of defiance to the terrorists.

SNP leader Ms Sturgeon said: "Our thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives in Manchester and all those who were caught up in this despicable attack.

"In the face of unbearable tragedy, the last few days have also shown us examples of exceptional courage and selflessness - and there is a clear determination from people across the UK and beyond that we will stand defiant in the face of such cowardice.

"Free and fair elections can all-too-easily be taken for granted - and as we resume campaigning for the election on June 8, we do so with an even stronger commitment to those freedoms which we are fortunate to enjoy.''

She said having a "robust debate'' was right but added "we must never forget that we all want the best for our constituents and communities - and we are all united in our defence of democracy''.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "The dreadful events in Manchester will continue to be at the forefront of all our minds today but it is vital that the democratic process continues as we prepare for the June 8 election.

"Terrorists are attacking us because they hate our freedoms and our way of life.

"Nothing better rebukes their twisted ideology than the sight of campaigners out on our streets in free and fair elections asking for people's votes.

"We will not be beaten by terrorism. As the election gets back under way, we will show that to be the case.''

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said it was the "right time'' to restart the campaign.

She added: "In the coming weeks we'll see endless photo opportunities, fiery clashes in TV debates, and passionate town hall hustings.

"It's one way we can all show those who bring terror to our country that they will never win.''

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will use a visit to a Glasgow pharmacy to highlight the contribution of NHS workers.