The SNP and Greens to unite on Trident

THE SNP and the Greens are to campaign together today as the focus on the election campaign trail in Scotland turns to Trident.

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie. Picture: Greg Macvean

The leaders of the two parties are to address a rally in George Square, Glasgow, organised by the Scrap Trident group, while other parties hold various events across the country.

The Scottish Conservatives will be in Glasgow hosting a separate event as party leader Ruth Davidson joins activists to talk to voters at streets stalls in the city centre, while Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy will be campaigning in the East Renfrewshire constituency he has represented since 1997.

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Meanwhile, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Kezia Dugdale has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on SNP calls for full fiscal autonomy.

After clashes at First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood this week, Ms Dugdale wrote: “We have been very clear that the next Labour Government will introduce a Home Rule Bill within 100 days of taking office. Will the SNP seek to amend this Bill to include full fiscal autonomy?

“Your reluctance to champion a policy that is central to your General Election campaign will baffle many Scots. The only logical conclusion is that you know full fiscal autonomy within the UK would mean extra cuts to our NHS and schools worth £7.6 billion and cost 138,000 jobs in Scotland.”

The Liberal Democrats are concentrating on the battle with Alex Salmond in the Gordon constituency as retiring MP Sir Malcolm Bruce hits the campaign trail with candidate Christine Jardine in Old Meldrum today.

Sir Malcolm said the Lib Dems are the only party that will extend the tax free allowance.

“In this Parliament, Liberal Democrats have raised the tax-free threshold from £6,500 to £10,600 - saving working people in Scotland £825,” he said.

“In the next Parliament we will go further still, raising the threshold to £12,500. We need that to happen, because fairness dictates that we focus help on low and middle-come earners.

“Only the Liberal Democrats believe in raising the threshold. Not only are we the only party that is guaranteeing to extend it. We are the only party which can be guaranteed not to roll it back.”

Organisers of the anti-Trident rally are expecting a large turnout with Labour election candidate Katy Clark and Ann Henderson of the STUC also due to speak.

Veronika Tudhope, vice chair of Scottish CND, said: ‘’It’s up to us to make Trident a central issue of the General Election campaign. It’s up to us to vote for parties and candidates who will vote against Trident at Westminster.’’

Trident became a central issue in the referendum campaign last year and both the SNP and the Greens say they will vote to scrap it at Westminster.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon described the General Election as “the most important in living memory”.

She said: “We must all of us seize the moment - vote to scrap Trident, vote for peace and vote for a progressive future.”