SNP the party for young Scots, says Martin Compston

THE SNP is the only party that can be trusted to stand up for Scotland’s young people, actor Martin Compston declared.

Scottish actor, Martin Compston. Picture: Robert Perry.
Scottish actor, Martin Compston. Picture: Robert Perry.

Compston, the star of the police drama Line of Duty said that while 16 and 17 year olds could not vote in May’s General Election, Scottish nationalist MPs at Westminster would “ensure their voices are heard loudly and clearly”.

The actor, who made his name as a troubled teenager in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen, joined up with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to unveil the party’s youth manifesto during a visit to Cumbernauld.

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Compston, who joined the SNP in the wake of last-year’s independence referendum, declared the party’s “commitment to Scotland’s young people is clear”.

While 16 and 17-year-olds could vote in that ballot, they are not allowed to have a say in the General Election.

Compston said: “Young people under 18 might be being denied the chance to vote at this election - but the SNP will ensure their voices are heard loudly and clearly at Westminster.

“Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories all have a track record of broken promises: introducing fees of thousands of pounds a year south of the border and failing to protect young Scots from the worst impacts of Tory cuts. Only the SNP can be trusted to stand up for Scotland’s young people.”

The SNP youth manifesto states that 16 and 17 year olds should be entitled to vote in all elections, as well as pledging to increase the minimum wage for under 18s by £1.20 an hour and to create 30,000 modern apprenticeships each year.

The party will continue to oppose the introduction of tuition fees for Scottish students at university north of the border, and its MPs would vote in favour of reducing tuition fees across the UK.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The biggest investment we can make in Scotland’s future is in our young people - and as First Minister I am determined to do everything I can to support and empower them.

“Last year’s referendum showed us that the case for extending the right to vote to 16 and 17 year olds in every election is now unanswerable. The SNP will keep pushing for votes at 16 and 17 in all elections.

“In government in Scotland, the SNP is delivering 30,000 modern apprenticeships a year and we are expanding entitlement to Education Maintenance Allowance - scrapped south of the border - to support 57,000 school pupils and college students, making it easier for them continue their education.

“We have restored free higher education - and there will be no tuition fees in Scotland for as long as the SNP are in office.

“A strong team of SNP MPs at Westminster would support the reduction of tuition fees for students south of the border - giving more young people south of the border the chance to go to university.”

The SNP leader added: “This is an example of the progressive influence the SNP can have at Westminster - and demonstrates exactly how we can help deliver policies for the benefit of people beyond Scotland.

“We are doing all we can to strengthen and grow our economy to provide more opportunities for young people close to home - in numbers at Westminster we go further, pushing for an increase in the minimum wage for under 18s by over £1.20 an hour to ensure more young people are better paid.

“A strong team of SNP MPs will stand up for the rights of young people at every turn and deliver the progressive action that is needed to support more of our young people into work, education or training.