John Swinney faces FMQs as Labour set to unveil manifesto

The First Minister will face MSPs at Holyrood on Thursday.

John Swinney is set to face MSPs at Holyrood on Thursday as the Labour party prepares to launch its manifesto.

It comes as the First Minister called on Labour to rule out the “creeping privatisation agenda” for the health service.

The SNP leader said Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting is a “clear and present danger” to the NHS.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said his party will “never, ever” privatise the NHS, but added it would not rule out using the capacity available in the private sector to drive down waiting lists.

Meanwhile the Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for communities near renewable energy installations to benefit from the power they produce.

They party has said large energy suppliers must sell the power generated by wind farms directly to customers nearby, with money also going to community benefit funds.

Elsewhere, the Scottish Greens have made a key manifesto call for all of Scotland’s national football games to be free to watch.

Health and sport spokeswoman Gillian Mackay said the Greens want to show the red card to “money spinning channels” that charge fans to watch the games.

And the Scottish Conservatives have said the party will match the UK Conservative commitment to provide 30 hours of free childcare per week for youngsters under nine months.

The party’s deputy leader Meghan Gallacher has called for an end to “disparity” of funding through the Scottish Government’s provision of 1,140 hours of free childcare per year.

It comes as operators in the private, voluntary and independent nursery sector have raised issues with staffing due to higher wages available at council-run facilities, with local authority nurseries receiving more funding for their part in the childcare expansion.

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