Nicola Sturgeon has said only the SNP can provide a strong opposition to the Conservatives at Westminster as she stepped up her party’s General Election campaign.
The First Minister said Tory MPs would “rubber stamp whatever Theresa May wants to do” and that the Nationalists would act as a bulwark against the dangers of an unopposed Tory government.
The SNP leader visited Partick this morning, part of the Glasgow North constituency being defended by Patrick Grady, speaking with shoppers in the west end district and diners in a local cafe.
“SNP MPs are there to be the voice for Scotland, as they have been over the past two years,” she told The Scotsman.
“We have been the only effective opposition. With a strong team of MPs at Westminster, and a strong Scottish Government at Westminster, we have protected Scotland from the full force of Conservative policies.”
Grady is defending a majority of 9,295 in one of the seven Glasgow constituencies the SNP won in 2015, with party activists confident of retaining the seat at the ballot on June 8.
“The SNP has been, and will continue to be, Scotland’s bulwark against the dangers of an unopposed Tory government,” Sturgeon said. “Now more than ever, we need strong SNP voices to stop the Tories dragging Scotland backwards.
“When the Tories tried to cut Scotland’s budget by £7 billion, it was SNP MPs and a strong SNP government that stopped them.
“When the Tories wanted to cut Tax Credits - hitting low income households by around £3,000 a year - the SNP helped to stop them.
“In Scotland it is only the strong voice of SNP MPs at Westminster combined with an effective SNP government that has protected Scotland from the full force of the Tories at Westminster.
“In government, around the country and at Westminster it is only the SNP that always puts Scotland’s interests first.”
Among the Glasgow residents the First Minister spoke with was James Kelman, the acclaimed Scottish novelist.
She later tweeted: “A real treat this morning to run into one of my favourite writers, James Kelman. If you haven’t read Dirt Road yet, you should.”