General Election 2019 briefing: Sturgeon pledge on NHS | Labour lose two candidates over posts

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Hello and welcome to the Scotsman's daily election briefing as voters prepare to go to the polls on December 12.

Sturgeon bid to 'protect' the NHS

Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA

Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA

Nicola Sturgeon will launch the SNP's campaign in earnest today with a pledge to protect the NHS from a 'Tory-Trump' trade deal with UK-wide legislation to prevent swathes of the health service falling into private hands.

The First Minister said: "The SNP will bring forward a bill that would protect the NHS across the whole of the UK from ever being harmed by a Tory-Trump trade deal.

“All parties say they oppose including the NHS in trade deals – so I challenge every party to today commit to backing this bill, and stopping the Tories trading our NHS for trade deals with Donald Trump.”

Labour loses second candidate over social media posts

Labour has lost a second Scottish candidate in as many days as a result of offensive posts on social media.

READ MORE: Labour candidate quits over link to 'antisemitic blog'

Kate Ramsden, the party's candidate for Gordon in Aberdeenshire, announced she would stand down after reports she penned a blog post appearing to connect the Holocaust and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Ms Ramsden's resignation follows the Labour party candidate in Edinburgh South-West, Frances Hoole, stepping down as a result of a Twitter post in which she labelled her SNP opponent, Joanna Cherry, a 'terf', a phrse widely considered to be an insult by many women campaigning for sex-based rights

'Doing a deal'

It was back to the future for Boris Johnson yesterday as he made a number of campaign stops in Scotland in a bid to shore up the Conservatives' 14 seats north of the border, many of which are considered vulnerable to SNP challenges.

The Prime Minister revisited the theme of the 2015 election - when David Cameron depicted Ed Miliband as being in the pocked of the SNP - as he accused Jeremy Corbyn of permitting a second referendum on independence.
Mr Johnson said: "It's perfectly obvious that Jeremy Corbyn is going to rely on the SNP to get into power and to do that he's done a shady deal to have a second referendum."

Lib Dems 'will stop Brexit'

The Liberal Democrats have made the leadership of Jo Swinson their central campaign theme so far, but they are expanding in the next few weeks on their pledge to stop Brexit if they are in the unlikely position of forming a Government.

READ MORE: Lib Dems can stop Brexit, pledges Rennie

Willie Rennie - the party's leader in Scotland - launched their campaign as he pledged not only to hold the four seats the Lib Dems hold in the country - but add to them by winning back some seats lost to the SNP at previous elections.

Mr Rennie said: "This election our ambition is sky high. We can stop Brexit and build a brighter future for Scotland in the United Kingdom."