The SNP must win general election, Yousaf tells activists

The First Minister was addressing party activists in Perth.

The SNP must win general election, Yousaf tells activists Getty Images

The SNP must win the upcoming general election, Humza Yousaf has told activists.

The First Minister addressed around 200 activists in Perth Concert Hall on Saturday at the party’s “campaign council” – in effect a mini-party conference.

In a rallying cry to his party’s most die-hard supporters, the First Minister said the only outcome Westminster fears was an SNP victory.

Mr Yousaf rallied SNP supporters during the speech.Getty Images

At its conference in Aberdeen last year the party set victory as winning a majority of seats north of the border – the equivalent of 29 constituencies under new boundaries.

Mr Yousaf also stressed the importance of the upcoming vote – expected in the latter part of the year – and sought to emphasise the differences between his party, Labour and the Tories, describing the SNP as “the only party willing to make the case for investment in public services, help with the cost of living, re-joining the EU and for Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.

“The SNP is the only party standing on that positive platform and that is exactly why we must, and we will win this general election,” he said.

The campaign, the First Minister said, will not be an easy one, claiming “our opponents will throw everything at us”.

At the start of the year, Mr Yousaf expressed his party’s desire to remove every Tory MP from north of the border.

“In this election, we have the chance to finally make Scotland Tory free for the first time in almost a quarter of a century,” he said.

“We can make history – and there’s only one way to do it. Most seats across Scotland are a straight fight between the SNP and the Tories.

“Let us resolve, here and now to win each and every one of those Tory seats – from the Highlands to the Borders, let’s rid this country of Tory MPs once and for all.”

He added: “Your time is up and the SNP is coming for you.”

Mr Yousaf also used the speech to attack the Tories over the comments of prominent donor Frank Hester directed towards MP Diane Abbott – who he said made him “hate all black women” and “should be shot”.

The comments were eventually decried by Downing Street as “racist” and the First Minister and delegates sent their “solidarity” to Ms Abbott, punctuated by a standing ovation from the crowd.

Turning his fire on Labour, the First Minister said voters must reject “Tory policies, Tory ideas and Tory values – and that’s whether they’re delivered by someone in a blue rosette or a red one”.

Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy MSP said: “Humza Yousaf’s sadly predictable and tired speech made it painfully clear the SNP have nothing to offer Scots.

“The chaotic and distracted SNP government is failing to deliver for ordinary people, while its leader has retreated to the nationalist base.

“Scots can see clearly that the nationalists are the party of soaring drug deaths, dodgy campervans, and everyone knows their plans to turn off the taps in the North Sea will pull the plug on 100,00 jobs.

“When it comes to the General Election, in swathes of seats across Scotland, only a vote for Scottish Conservatives will stop the SNP.”

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