Senior SNP figures spend first day of conference on the attack

Senior SNP figures sought to rouse the Aberdeen crowds on Saturday.

Senior SNP figures spend first day of conference on the attack PA Wire

The SNP has spent the first day of their conference attacking the Conservatives and Labour.

Delegates met in person in Aberdeen on Saturday for the first time since before the pandemic, with depute leader Keith Brown and Westminster leader Ian Blackford addressing crowds.

In the only announcement on the first day, Mr Brown told the audience the party would be creating its own “broadcast platform” as it launched a podcast named Scotland’s Voices.

In his address to the party faithful, the Westminster leader challenged Tory rebels to join with the SNP “in stopping any real terms cuts to benefits and any return to austerity”.

“Only a matter of weeks into their new roles, the disastrous duo of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have crashed the economy, sent the pound plummeting, put pension funds at risk and caused mayhem for mortgage holders,” he added.

“The truth is, the new Prime Minister and her new Chancellor have made the worst first impression in the history of UK politics.

“Because the inequality and incompetence of that budget will go down as one of the worst financial interventions in modern history.”

Meanwhile the depute leader also took a swipe at the UK Government, saying the Prime Minister was “singularly unfit for the job”.

“The chaos that she has created is no surprise – the only people who ever believed she was fit for No 10 were the very few thousand Tory members who put her there,” he said

Both also took a swipe at Labour, with Mr Blackford describing Sir Keir Starmer’s party as a “Brexit backing, democracy denying, Tory enabling party”.

The senior SNP figures sought to rouse the Aberdeen crowds with a call to arms, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments next week that could allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum.

Invoking the memory of Ian Hamilton KC – one of the group who stole the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey and brought it back to Scotland – who died ahead of the conference, Mr Blackford said the SNP had a “clear purpose and a clear path”.

“Ian Hamilton brought home the Stone of Destiny. My purpose, friends, is to lead our SNP MPs out of the doors of Westminster for the very last time and come home to our independent nation,” he said.

“For Ian Hamilton, for all those who have gone before, for those of us in Scotland today, but most importantly for future generations – let’s finish the job, let’s finish the journey and finally put a finish to Westminster control for good.”

Mr Brown said: “Friends, we have, as ever, work to do, and I would like to thank you for the work that you’ve done so far and ask you to be ready for the fight about to come.”

Delegates also heard from Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko, who thanked the people of Scotland for taking in more than 20,000 families since the outbreak of war in her native country, adding: “You have opened your homes and you have opened your hearts for us at the time of most need.”

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