Theresa May has accused the Scottish National Party of seeking to “disrupt” her attempts to win the general election.
Making her first appearance in Scotland of the election campaign so far, she told an audience of party activists in a barn in Aberdeenshire: “Every vote for me and my team strengthens my hand in the Brexit negotiations.”
She said the SNP wanted “to disrupt our Brexit negotiations, undermine the task ahead, stop us from taking Britain forward.
“They want to disrupt our Brexit negotiations by disrupting this election.”
As she did so, French President François Hollande told reporters in Brussels: “I understand the electoral argument, but it will not influence the EU. The EU’s principles and the objectives are already fixed, these will be the lines chosen by negotiators.”
The Prime Minister repeated previous campaign speeches, telling the small crowd: “Give me the mandate to lead Britain, give me the mandate to speak for Britain, give me the mandate to fight for Britain and give me the mandate to deliver for Britain.”
She added: “My message to the people of Scotland is clear – every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in the Brexit negotiations.
“That will strengthen the Union, strengthen the economy and the UK and Scotland together will flourish because if Scotland is flourishing the rest of the United Kingdom is flourishing too.
“That’s really important because as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I want to see every part of our country succeed.”
The Prime Minister has previously refused to grant Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a second referendum on independence for Scotland.