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Senior SNP MP says he will avoid ‘Tory-free’ slogan in election campaign

The SNP’s longest-serving MP has said he will not use one of the party’s key messages in the upcoming general election campaign.

Ahead of an expected Westminster vote in the latter part of this year, the SNP has set its sights on wiping out the Conservatives north of the border, winning all seven of the seats currently held by Rishi Sunak’s party.

On Saturday, First Minister Humza Yousaf addressed SNP activists, using the phrase “Tory-free” multiple times and telling Scottish Tory MPs: “The SNP is coming for you.”

But on Sunday, Pete Wishart – the party’s Perth and North Perthshire MP since 2001 – said he would not be using the same messaging.

“Much as I will be doing everything possible to ensure that the Tories are kept out of Perth and Kinross-shire I won’t be using this ‘Tory-free’ rhetoric as part of my campaign,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

However, the Scottish Tories pointed out Mr Wishart had already used the phrase in a post on X just over a week ago.

Scottish Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said the First Minister’s “divisive rhetoric” was an “insult to the hundreds of thousands of people who vote Scottish Conservative”.

“He also knows it’s not going to happen – in fact we’re aiming to make gains from the SNP at the general election.

“It’s interesting that the SNP’s longest-serving MP is now disowning his leader’s ugly rhetoric.

“But it’s only been eight days since Pete Wishart trotted it out himself – so he has no credibility posing as a man of integrity.”

Asked to comment on Mr Wishart’s statement, the SNP did not directly address it, however, a spokesperson said: “Most seats across Scotland are a straight fight between the SNP and the Tories.

“From the Highlands to the Borders, vote SNP to rid this country of Tory MPs once and for all.”