Kate Forbes: Voters can trust SNP to stand up for rural Scotland

The deputy first minister said Westminster had failed to deal with issues facing farmers and crofters.

Kate Forbes has said voters can trust the SNP to stand up for people in rural Scotland.

The deputy first minister said while Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer had visited the country following the general election announcement “they’re gone in a blink”.

Speaking on the second day of SNP campaigning in Inverness, she said her party would “fight” for rural Scots, including farmers and crofters, who she said had been hit economically by Brexit.

Kate Forbes was in the Highlands for an SNP election campaign visit.STV News

Forbes told STV News: “Here in the Highlands of Scotland my message is that voters can trust the SNP to stand up for rural Scotland.

“We’ve had Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer in Scotland – they’re gone in a blink.

“But SNP MPs have been fighting for rural agriculture in Scotland for years and want to continue to do so on behalf of these industries.”

Kate Forbes visited a croft in Inverness.STV News

Asked what her party would do to help farmers and crofters, the deputy first minister said: “The big challenge facing farmers and crofters is the fact that food exports have been constrained because of Brexit, we’ve all been dealing with the cost of living crisis and energy bills soaring.

“And over the last few years, we’ve not seen Westminster really deal with the issues of importance for farmers and crofters and we need to change that.

“And that requires us to send SNP MPs who understand rural Scotland and who will stand up for rural Scotland in Westminster.”

Forbes added that the SNP is the “only party” offering a “vision of hope and change” at the election.

Her visit comes after the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that the UK general election will take place on July 4.

Scottish Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Andrew Bowie said: “Did Kate Forbes actually say with a straight face that the SNP stand up for rural Scotland?

“This Central Belt-obsessed nationalist government show nothing but contempt for remote, rural and island Scotland time after time.

“That’s clear from their failure to dual key trunk roads – like the A9, A96 and A75 – that rural communities rely on, from the ferries scandal, the dire rural broadband rollout and the shortages of teachers and GPs being worse in remote parts of Scotland.

“If that’s standing up for rural Scotland, I dread to think what constitutes letting down these communities in Kate Forbes’ eyes.”

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