Election battle for soul of Scotland

Election ‘battle for soul of Scotland’

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has declared that this year’s general election will be a “battle for the soul of Scotland”, as he urged pro-UK voters to unite behind his Conservative Party to defeat “dud” First Minister Humza Yousaf.

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak having now confirmed the election will take place this year, Mr Ross told the Scottish Tory party conference the ballot “could not be more important”.

Mr Ross outlined five key pledges he said the Tories would focus on.

He vowed to cut tax for Scots, attacking the Scottish Government for making the country the “highest-taxed part of the UK”, and pledged to put 1,000 more police on the streets.

That was a commitment first made by the SNP when they came to power in 2007 – and while this was achieved, more recently police officer numbers have fallen to their lowest level since 2008.

Mr Ross also pledged to improve roads – saying his party would “deliver on the SNP’s broken promises” to upgrade key routes across the country.

On education, he added that the Tories are looking at how to “reduce class sizes, reinforce discipline in our schools and restore our traditional exam system”.

And for the NHS, he promised 1,000 additional GPs would be recruited “to ensure that no-one, anywhere in Scotland, has to wait longer than a week for an appointment”.

The commitments came as Mr Ross claimed that 17 years of the SNP in power at Holyrood had resulted in a “poorer, smaller, and a more divided country”.

In his keynote speech to the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen, he insisted that Humza Yousaf’s party “deserve to pay the price for failing Scotland for the last 17 years”.

Referring to the “Humza Useless” nickname given to the SNP leader by his opponents, Mr Ross urged voters to use the forthcoming election to “give Useless his P45 and put his nationalist government on notice”.

The Scottish Tory leader insisted that the forthcoming Westminster ballot was “about the future of our nation” and a “battle for the soul of Scotland”.

He told how his party’s priorities of repairing roads, tackling NHS waits, improving education, making the country safer and cutting taxes were “the real priorities of the Scottish people”.

But he said such changes could only happen “if the pro-UK, anti-SNP majority unites behind the Scottish Conservatives in seats across Scotland”.

Mr Ross made a direct appeal to supporters of other parties to switch to the Scottish Tories “to make the SNP pay for years of distraction and neglect”.

Referencing the independence referendum in 2014, he told voters: “Let’s beat them together, just like we did 10 years ago.”

While the SNP have set the target of removing all Tory MPs from Scotland in the general election, Mr Ross told the conference: “That ain’t gonna happen.”

Instead, he predicted that Mr Yousaf was “going to flop, and he is going to flop hard” when voters eventually go to the polls.

Ms Ross claimed the First Minister is “already on his last legs”.

The Tory leader told the conference Mr Yousaf’s “days in office are numbered”, and “even the SNP are starting to realise that Humza Yousaf is a dud”.

Mr Ross added: “We already got rid of Nicola Sturgeon. Let’s use this general election to shove Humza Yousaf out the door.”

The Scottish Tory leader later told journalists his party is “going to have a good election”.

Mr Ross said: “I think we can hold the seats that we currently have and I think we can make gains, and those gains will be at the expense of the SNP, and I think we will have a good result in many seats right across the country.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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