Scottish Tory manifesto pledges to 'reverse years of SNP incompetence'

Rishi Sunak and Douglas Ross launched the policy document with the promise of a 'laser-like focus on the real priorities of the Scottish public'.

Douglas Ross has launched the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party manifesto with pledges to cut tax, protect jobs in the North Sea and end the “SNP obsession” with independence.

Unveiling the document in Edinburgh alongside Rishi Sunak, the Scottish Tory leader said his MPs would have a “laser-like focus on the real priorities of the Scottish public” and would reverse “years of SNP incompetence”.

Ross, who is stepping down as leader after the election, said all Scottish Conservative MPs would have five key priorities for Scotland. They are:

  • Recruiting 1,000 extra GPs as part of a strategy to reduce waiting times across Scotland’s NHS 
  • Restoring schools by backing teachers to teach and increasing subject choices for pupils
  • Making the streets safer by recruiting 1,000 extra police officers and introducing longer sentences for dangerous criminals
  • Cutting income tax and national insurance to help Scottish workers and families
  • Upgrading Scotland’s roads, including the A9, A96, A90, A75, A77, A83 and A1

However, four of these issues are devolved and one is partly devolved. That means it’s the responsibility of Holyrood and the Scottish Government, not Westminster and the UK Government.

Speaking at the launch of the document, Sunak said it was only his party that could stand up to the SNP.

The Prime Minister said a vote for the Tories would put the issue of independence to bed.

“It’s only Douglas (Ross) and his team that have been prepared to properly stand up to the SNP,” Sunak told party members, “standing against both Nicola Sturgeon’s gender recognition reforms and the dangerous hate crime act.

“It shows you that only the Scottish Conservatives have the courage to stand up to the nationalists.”

The Prime Minister said the Tories could put the issue of independence to bed.iStock

He added: “If the SNP win the majority of seats at this election, they will treat that as a mandate to carry on campaigning for independence for another five years.

“A vote for the Scottish Conservatives is a vote to put this issue to bed, to move past these tired and stale arguments and to go forward united and together.”

Ross said Scotland is at a crossroads and that the General Election “could not be more pivotal”.

He said: “Either we can continue on the same road we have been on since the 2014 independence referendum and continue to keep fighting the same old, tired debate for another five years.

“Or we can choose, as a nation, to change course to finally bring an end to the decade of division – and move forward to solving the everyday issues that people across Scotland face.”

The party leader is running to be an MP in Aberdeenshire North and Murray East and said he will stand down as an MSP if he wins the seat.

He said it was only his party would stand up for oil and gas workers in the North East, claiming the industry was not safe with Labour or the SNP.

The Tories are “full square behind backing Scotland’s oil and gas industry” he said.

You can read the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party manifesto for the 2024 General Election here.

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