• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Scotland central to our campaign, says Starmer

Labour party now has only two Scottish MPs, but is ahead in the opinion polls. It could stand to improve its tally to 35 seats in Scotland

Labour leader Keir Starmer and his Scottish counterpart Anas Sarwar attend the launch of the Scottish Labour general election campaign at Caledonia House on May 24, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

By: Shajil Kumar

ELECTIONEERING is off to a flying start in Scotland after prime minister Rishi Sunak decided to go ahead with a snap general election on July 4.

Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer reached Glasgow on Friday (24) and pledged to make Scotland “central to the mission” of a Labour government, BBC reports.

The party now has only two Scottish MPs, but is ahead in the opinion polls. It could stand to improve its tally to 35 seats in Scotland.

While addressing an event in Glasgow’s Gorbals area, Sir Keir said this is ‘change election’, but without Scotland there won’t be any change. He was joined by Scottish Labour leader and Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar.

The party pledged to stabilise the economy, protect workers and create “tens of thousands of jobs” by basing a new publicly-owned power company – Great British Energy, in Scotland.

Sarwar said that Scotland was desperate for a general election and “crying out for change”. “Every vote for Scottish Labour is a vote to get rid of the Tories, a vote to maximise Scotland’s influence and a vote to deliver the change Scotland needs,” he added.

Ealier, Sunak visited Scotland on Thursday and criticised the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) track record.

On a campaign trip to Nigg Port near Inverness, the prime minister accused the SNP of being “out of touch” with Scots.

Sunak said the SNP had an “obsession” with independence that was a risk “to the integrity of our union”.

SNP leader and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes said the election would allow the SNP to outline “a real prospectus for change and not just the Westminster consensus that flips from Tories and Labour.”

She pointed out that rural Scotland was struggling with exports due to Brexit and people needed SNP MPs who would stand up for them in Westminster.

The Scottish Greens also launched their own campaign in Glasgow, with the party attacking both Tories and Labour for their poor track record on climate policies.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie criticised the Conservatives for “ripping up its climate policies” and Labour for “dumping” plans to invest £28bn a year in the green economy.

He also attacked the SNP for its ambivalent approach towards the problem. “When Greens are in the room, that puts climate and nature on the agenda,” he said.

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