Tory leader Ruth Davidson vows to break '˜Labour-SNP stranglehold'

RUTH Davidson has pledged that her party would 'break the old Labour-SNP stranglehold' on Scottish politics if elevated to the official opposition at Holyrood.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Lisa FergusonScottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Scottish Conservative leader said her party would bring a “genuine clash of ideas” to the Scottish Parliament if it achieves its ambition to overtake Labour for second place on May 5.

In a speech in Ayr, Ms Davidson accused Kezia Dugdale’s party of failing to challenge the SNP on issues including educational attainment and plans to introduce a named person for every child in Scotland.

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She said: “I have had enough of watching a party of government being whined at rather than challenged by the principal party of opposition. Who votes for their bills anyway?

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“I’ve had enough of seeing political debate extend only to how much money can be spent, and how much can be taken out of the pockets of Scotland’s workers.

“Consensus breeds bad laws and lazy thinking. It has given us named persons and an education system that is failing our deprived communities.

“Well, my message is that if we get more Scottish Conservatives at this election and if we become the main opposition party, we can break the old Labour-SNP stranglehold on Scotland.

“Scotland has not been well served by two left-wing parties battling it out to decide who can out-left the other.”

Also out on the campaign trail, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon launched a drive to highlight her party’s record in government.

SNP candidates and activists will be armed with a document listing 131 “key successes” during what the SNP has dubbed “Active April”.

The document cites record funding for Scotland’s NHS, the extension of free childcare and school meals, free university tuition and the council tax freeze as top achievements.

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The First Minister said: “The SNP is taking nothing for granted ahead of 5th May and this weekend - with hundreds more activists than we’ve ever had before - we’ll take to the doorsteps to remind voters of our strong record in government.

“We’ve listed 131 top achievements of the SNP in government, but we’re determined to make that 131 and counting - by winning a historic third term in government and continuing to build upon that record.

“Already in the campaign we’ve set a markedly different tone to our opponents, who are proposing tax hikes for families, while we’re determined to protect household income, create jobs and grow our economy.

“Yes, we are proud of our record but we know that there is still much more to do.

“While Labour and the Tories scrap it out for second place, we’ll maintain our focus on working towards a fairer, more successful Scotland for everybody who lives and works here.”