Dugdale: Scottish voters should reject the extremes of the SNP and the Tories

17th May, 2017 1:11 pm

These are extracts from the speech delivered by Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour leader, in Glasgow today.

She accused the Tories and SNP of hijacking the results of the EU and Scotland referenda for “narrow nationalist purposes”.

In the face of some of the greatest challenges our country has ever faced, the choice at this election is being presented as one between a Scottish National Party with no programme to speak of and an emboldened Tory Party that is pushing a hard Brexit at all costs.

We cannot allow this to be the choice at this election – because it doesn’t represent what the vast majority of people in this country want.

Across Scotland, people voted both to remain in the UK and remain in Europe.

But our votes are being hijacked by Tory and SNP politicians who want to use how we voted in referendums and general elections to assume something about the kind of future we want to see.

As a Labour Party, we put ourselves on the side of the vast majority of people across our country who rejected a hard Brexit and rejected independence.

Hundreds of thousands of people voted that way, and they did it for principled and consistent reasons.

It was because they believed in the ideas that hold together both the EU and the UK.

And they understood that in a highly complex, interconnected world we are better facing the challenges of the future together.

There is a clear majority in this country in favour of that vision of our society. And I want to appeal to them today.

They are the majority for change.

A majority who aren’t served by either the Tories or the SNP.

They are the people who are sick of the Tories’ lack of compassion, and the SNP’s obsession with another referendum.

And who just want us to be getting on with the job of governing and changing people’s lives.”

Dugdale will also set out Labour’s alternative vision:

In three weeks, the Scottish Labour candidate on the ballot paper is the option to reject the extremes of both the SNP and the Tories.

You can vote for a Scotland where we put the real issues of our jobs, our economy and our public services first.

The manifesto which Jeremy Corbyn launched yesterday is a radical and transformative plan.

A Scottish Investment Bank to unlock billions of pounds for our economy and to bring jobs back to Scotland.

A £10 real living wage – making sure that if you go out and work hard, you receive not just enough to get by but enough to live a fulfilling life.

And a commitment to transform how our country is run with a People’s Constitutional Convention.

Next week we will publish our own Scottish Labour manifesto.

It will contain our commitment to oppose a second independence referendum.

But it will be about much more than that.

It will show how we will invest in our schools, our hospitals and in using the power of government to change our economy.

Because that’s the prize in this election – changing our country for the better.

That’s what Labour has always done in government, and what I want us to be in a position to do again.

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