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Cowdenbeath by-election: SNP, Tories to campaign

SNP candidate Natalie McGarry. Picture: Dan Phillips

SNP candidate Natalie McGarry. Picture: Dan Phillips

Leaders of the SNP and Scottish Conservatives will formally launch their Cowdenbeath by-election campaigns today.

Alex Salmond will be in Inverkeithing in Fife to promote his candidate, Natalie McGarry.

He said: “The introduction of free school meals, extending childcare for households across Fife, and the continuation of the council tax freeze - these are the issues at the forefront of this by-election, which people can support by voting for the SNP and Natalie McGarry.”

Tory leader Ruth Davidson will be in Cowdenbeath with candidate Dave Dempsey, a Fife councillor.

Mr Dempsey wants to promote the revitalisation of Cowdenbeath town centre.

He said: “Times are tough for retailers and the SNP should be seeking to help them. Instead, the Scottish Government has hit the sector with a number of damaging policies like the retail levy and empty property tax.

“The least it could do is come up with a fresh Town Centre Regeneration Fund - the type of investment that could really change Cowdenbeath’s fortunes.

“It’s an extremely straightforward way to encourage growth, and make residents feel good about their own town centre.”

Labour attacked SNP candidate Ms McGarry on the eve of her launch day by drawing attention to messages on her Twitter account.

Comments suggest she has “no respect” for teachers, the party claimed.

One of the tweets, taken from her personal account, read: “I know you work hard. I just don’t need to hear about it.”

Labour candidate Alex Rowley said: “These tweets are a glimpse into what Natalie McGarry really thinks about our public sector workers.

“She clearly has no respect for our hard-working teachers who day in, day out, do their best for our children.”

Ms McGarry said: “This is desperate stuff from Labour who are clearly trying to whip up a smokescreen around the fact that Alex Rowley’s Labour administration published cuts proposals that could see 300 teachers in Fife lose their job.

“That is what is really concerning parents and teachers in the area.

“As I myself said, teachers are hardworking and do a good job, so to characterise this as an attack on the profession is simply ludicrous.”

The SNP attacked Mr Rowley over Labour’s position on the council tax freeze.

He has given mixed messages on whether he would support an increase, the party claimed.

The by-election is being contested on January 23. It was called after the death of Labour MSP Helen Eadie in November.

 

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