John Swinney urges vote for SNP to make Scotland free of Tory MPs after election

John Swinney
-Credit: (Image: Michael Boyd/PA Wire)

SNP leader John Swinney has claimed his party can remove the Tories from every Tory-held seat in Scotland during a general election campaign visit.

The First Minister visited Dumfries, part of Scottish Secretary Alister Jack’s Dumfries and Galloway seat, calling on people to vote SNP to “get rid of the Conservatives”.

The Tories won six Scottish seats at the last general election, with the SNP’s Lisa Cameron later crossing the floor to join the Conservatives.

The First Minister told Sky News: “I’m down in Dumfries today in the south of Scotland pitching the message that the SNP is the challenger in every single one of the Conservative-held seats in Scotland.

“If people want to get rid of the Conservatives then they’ve got to vote SNP to make sure that’s what happens.

“Right across the country, if people want to get rid of the Conservatives, the SNP is the best vehicle to do that.”

Questioned if he is focusing on the Conservative strongholds as Labour will “beat (his party) more easily in other areas”, Swinney replied: “We’re going to take the campaign to every part of the country.

“On Saturday I was touring a number of constituencies in central Scotland which will be SNP-Labour contests, but here in the south of Scotland we’ve got an opportunity to remove a number of Conservative MPs who make up the Conservative representation who have supported austerity, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis, and inflicted that on Scotland.”

He was also questioned on his support for former Scottish health secretary Michael Matheson over a Holyrood committee recommending his suspension over an £11,000 data roaming bill from his parliamentary iPad.

Matheson initially said the device was used for work purposes before later confessing his teenage sons had used it as a wifi hotspot to stream football while they were on holiday in Morocco.

Holyrood’s Standards Committee backed a 27-day suspension last week but Swinney stood by his view to contest the committee’s decision, saying it was “prejudiced” by the prior comments of one of its Conservative members.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross is campaigning in Falkirk, Matheson’s constituency, on Monday.

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