Sir Keir Starmer says Scotland's recovery must be 'number one priority' when pandemic over

Sir Keir Starmer will today say Scotland's recovery must be the “number one priority” for its Government when the pandemic is over.

The Labour leader will join Scottish leader Sarwar in Edinburgh and Glasgow to pay tribute to frontline NHS workers in Scotland.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Sir Keir claimed his party could offer a route to recovery.

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He said: “First and foremost, today is about paying tribute to the NHS staff across Scotland who have been on the frontline of this pandemic.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer will arrive in Scotland today and call for UK-wide focus recovering from the pandemic

"They have battled Covid heroically and now they are helping defeat it by rolling out the vaccine.

“Once this virus is beaten, Scotland’s recovery must be the number one priority for its government. That’s what Anas Sarwar and Scottish Labour are offering in May’s election.

“Scottish Labour, under Anas’s leadership, is the only party serious about tackling the injustices which have been brutally exposed by Covid.

“Whether it’s education, the economy, or Scotland’s NHS, a vote for Scottish Labour in May is a vote to secure Scotland’s recovery.”

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Mr Sarwar – the Scottish Labour leader – added: “At this election we will be prioritising unity over division.

“After everything we have been through across the entire UK, we can’t return to the old arguments.

“Over the past year, our NHS staff in every nation and region of the UK have worked so hard under intense pressure.

“But our thanks is not enough – we need a relentless focus on a national recovery plan which prioritises our NHS, so that we never again have to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer.”

Mr Sarwar launched his campaign earlier this week by calling for every school pupil to be offered a mental health assessment as he accused the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives of putting political divisions ahead of the national interest.

In a speech on Monday launching Scottish Labour’s campaign for the Holyrood elections, Mr Sarwar, who took the top job last month, insisted that Labour under his leadership was “back on your side, not on the sidelines”.

He also unveiled a “national recovery plan” for Scotland, which he said would be the centrepiece of the party’s election campaign.

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