Ian Blackford states that tactical voting comments from Douglas Ross show “Better Together is still alive and well”
The former leader of the SNP at Westminster said the comments from the Scottish Conservative leader demonstrated the support for the union in major Scottish parties.
It comes after Douglas Ross said at the weekend that Conservative voters could vote Labour at the next general election in seats where Sir Keir Starmer’s party had a better chance of winning against the SNP, before backtracking on the suggestion.
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives suggested in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph Conservative voters “do what is best for the country” and support “the strongest candidate to beat the SNP”
He added in a later interview with Channel 4: “I want Scottish Conservative voters to vote Scottish Conservative, but we know, there are many seats across Scotland in the north, the north east and the central belt such as East Renfrewshire where the Scottish Conservatives are the challengers to the SNP.”
Ian Blackford told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “I think what really Douglas has done is he’s demonstrated that Better Together is still alive and well and it’s a real fight for Scotland’s future.
“We want to make sure that we remove the risk of Conservative governments forever, and the only way of doing that is by making sure that people do back the SNP in the next election, that we’ve got that roadmap for independence, and we remove the risk of that coalition of Tory and Labour seeking to hold Scotland back.”
Blackford also appealed for the SNP to “come together” now it has selected Humza Yousaf as leader.
The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, who backed Yousaf in the campaign said: “I would appeal to everyone in the party to come together now the election contest for the leader and the first minister is over.”
“I actually think when I look over the course of the first few days of the leadership of Humza, he’s made a number of very positive announcements.”
He said the party needed to “make sure that we rise to the challenges that we have” ahead of Humza Yousaf’s first electoral contest at the general election next year.
He added: “I’m optimistic but we need to make sure that we show that we’re worthy of the support of the people of Scotland.”
The former SNP Westminster leader also hit out at Alister Jack’s decision to block a law which would have allowed people to self identify in Scotland, branding it a “democratic outrage”.
He said: “What’s at the heart of this matter is the Secretary of State for Scotland believes he has the power, he has the right, to strike down any bill of the Scottish Parliament. That’s a democratic outrage in a modern democracy.”
He said that members of the Scottish Parliament could be sent to Holyrood “by the electorate to enact a manifesto commitment and at a whim, at a stroke of a pen, the Secretary of State for Scotland can strike down any bill of the Scottish Parliament” and said he thought “it quite clearly cannot be right”.
Asked if he thought if the Scottish Government would win, he replied: “Let’s wait and see.”
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