Scottish Labour conference: Jackie Baillie closes event criticising 'outdated' principles of SNP and Conservatives

Jackie Baillie has closed the Scottish Labour Party Conference, proclaiming Labour is ‘the party of the future’ in the face of ‘outdated’ SNP and Conservative rules in Scotland and the UK.

Ms Baillie said Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar has “energised and transformed” Scottish Labour as she closed the party’s Spring Conference in Glasgow on Sunday.

During the conference, Labour promised free residential care for over 65s, as well as a new charter for health and social care workers.

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The party also said they would launch a commission on how to tackle child poverty as well as a new plan, under Milly’s Law, which would give bereaved families new rights.

Jackie Baillie during the Scottish Labour conference at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire).Jackie Baillie during the Scottish Labour conference at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire).
Jackie Baillie during the Scottish Labour conference at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire).

Speaking in Glasgow, Ms Baillie said: “The Tories with their politics of privilege and prejudice, and the SNP with their nationalist obsession are stuck in the past.

"Every principle of the Tories and every principle of the SNP are the principles of the past.

"They stand for separation, we stand for unity. They stand for inequality, while we stand for equality for all.

"They want to define people by where they were born – we define people by the contribution that they make. They represent the out-dated ideals of the past; we, the Labour Party, represent the future.”

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Scottish Conservatives have accused Ms Baillie of “betraying” pro-UK voters who voted for her last year.

In the 2021 Holyrood election, the Scottish Conservatives claim the Labour deputy leader “narrowly avoided defeat because voters who backed the Scottish Conservatives on the list voted for Jackie Baillie in the constituency vote to stop the SNP”.

Scottish Conservative MSP Sharon Dowey said: “By refusing to work with pro-UK parties, Jackie Baillie is betraying the very voters who returned her to Holyrood.

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"She's turning her back on unionists who trusted her even when they didn't trust Labour to stand up for the Union.

“It’s unbelievable that Labour wouldn’t even join another pro-UK campaign because they're so ashamed of joining Better Together in 2014.

“Jackie Baillie has made it clear that Labour won’t stand alongside unionists again but right now, in councils all over Scotland, her party are in coalition with the SNP.”

However, during her speech, the deputy leader made clear she and her party were standing against an “out-of-touch SNP administration”.

She said: “Let’s fight for Glasgow; which has been failed by an out-of-touch SNP administration. Let’s fight for Fife; let down by an SNP government that has sent manufacturing jobs overseas.

"Let’s fight for the Highlands and the Western Isles; so that they have councillors ready to deliver the investment and infrastructure that the area needs.”

Paying tribute to Labour’s support towards those in Ukraine, Ms Baillie said: “We are the party that took the UK into NATO, the organisation that now stands on the side of the free world, against the tyranny of Vladimir Putin.

"Conference – our party has always stood against petty thugs and global criminals. And we stand now, with the people of Ukraine.”

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Ms Baillie said the Labour party needed to challenge both the SNP and the Conservatives for a “brighter future”.

She finished: “Conference, it is our duty as the Labour party to build that brighter future for the people of Scotland.

"This is our task – let’s get to work and build that brighter future, together.”

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