Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at the “cruelty” and “financial incompetence” of the Conservatives as she urged Scots to say “enough is enough” in the election next week.
The SNP leader and First Minister claimed the Tory U-turn on social care showed Theresa May’s party is “more weak and wobbly than strong and stable”
Writing in the Sunday Herald newspaper, Ms Sturgeon said: “Tomorrow there will be 10 days to polling day.
“Ten days in which it is vital that a light is shone firmly on the impact Tory policies will have on the country, on households and on jobs.
“Ten days in which we can really put a check on the Tories and put the values we seek to protect at the front of the campaign.
“Ten days in which people across Scotland can say enough is enough, and vote SNP to stop the Tories and give Scotland a strong voice at Westminster.”
Ms Sturgeon went on the attack as she insisted there is an “alternative to Tory austerity”.
She said £118 billion of cash could be freed up across the UK over the course of the next parliament to “safeguard our public services, protect household incomes and put the UK’s finances back on a stable footing”.
The SNP manifesto, which will be unveiled on Tuesday after its publication was delayed by the Manchester terrorist attack, will “put forward a responsible and credible fiscal plan” she said.
And the First Minister said: “Make no mistake, austerity is a choice, not a necessity. There is another way.”
When political campaigning was suspended in the wake of the Manchester bombing, she said: “The Tories had been exposed for the cruelty of some of their policies, the financial incompetence of their plans and the repeated U-turns that make them look more weak and wobbly than strong and stable”.
Ms Sturgeon added: “The Tories started this campaign trying to hide rising inequality under the smokescreen of Brexit.
“They have continued by trying to mislead the public on plans for pensioners, for taxes, for family incomes and over cuts to public services and have yet to explain to anyone what the Brexit deal they are so desperate for would do to our economy.
She later told the Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme on Sky News: “I don’t want to see Tory governments or Tory prime ministers, they do real damage to Scotland.”
But she also hit out at Jeremy Corbyn and his party, saying: “One of the things Labour has got to answer for in this election is they have put forward a leader that lacks credibility in terms of people’s perception of his ability to be prime minister.”
She refused to say if she would prefer Mr Corbyn or Mrs May to be in power at Number 10 after June 8.
And she also defended the SNP’s record in Scotland after a nurse used a TV leaders’ debate to tell the First Minister she had had to resort to using foodbanks.
“I take responsibility for all of the policies of my government,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“We are doing what we can to mitigate Tory austerity but the way to end Tory austerity is to do it at source.
“If you look at the Labour UK manifesto all the policies that Jeremy Corbyn is putting forward, from scrapping tuition fees to scrapping hospital car parking charges to climate changes, these are all policies already implemented in Scotland.
“Scotland is leading the way in progressive policies.”
She insisted one of the “key drivers behind the rising number of people using food banks was welfare changes brought in by the Conservatives.
Ms Sturgeon added: “If we want to tackle this, we’ve got to tackle this at source. That’s why we’re publishing in our manifesto an alternative to Tory austerity.
“We’ll say in our manifesto that we think things like the benefits freeze can’t go on.”