SNP ‘only major party publishing truly left-of-centre manifesto’ – Swinney

SNP leader John Swinney is expected to say that the SNP is the only major party with a “truly left-of-centre manifesto” in a speech at a campaign event in Stornoway on Monday.

The First Minister is expected to say that his party’s plans stand in “stark contrast” to the “Thatcherite economic policies” of the Conservatives and Labour, who, he will say, offer only “cuts, austerity and stagnation”.

He is also expected to say that Labour under Sir Keir Starmer has “run a mile” from its founding values, putting it at odds with the centre-left tradition of the majority of people in Scotland.

The SNP manifesto is expected to include plans for investment in public services, protections for the NHS, the reversal of Brexit, and support for families struggling through the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Swinney is expected to say: “This week is when the choice before the people of Scotland becomes clear.

“The SNP will publish our alternative to the Westminster status quo. A vision of hope for Scotland’s future, against the continuation of despair on offer from Labour and the Tories.

“Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are wedded to the same Thatcherite economic policies – offering only cuts, austerity and stagnation.

“The bold and positive vision we will publish will stand in stark contrast to the dismal Labour and Tory offerings promising more of the same.

“We are the only major party in this election publishing a truly left-of-centre manifesto – and that is exactly why we are feeling so positive about this campaign.

“That centre-left political tradition is where the vast majority of people in Scotland sit.

“Our manifesto is one that takes the traditional left-of-centre politics of our country and applies it to the challenges we face now, in the modern world.

“Labour under Keir Starmer has run a mile from the founding values of his own party – and abandoned the majority of voters in Scotland in the process.

“In Scotland, there is a real choice. A choice between a generation of stagnation under the Westminster status quo – or a generation of opportunity with the SNP.”

Scottish Conservative party chairman Craig Hoy said: “John Swinney might be trying to spin Scots a shiny new manifesto, but the reality is that the SNP’s independence obsession will override everything else in it.

“We already know that page one, line one of the manifesto will be completely focused on independence.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie said: “With the SNP, it doesn’t matter a jot if the manifesto is left-wing or right-wing because they fail to deliver whatever they promise.

“The SNP have delivered hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts to local government, housing and the environment. When it comes to taking an axe to public services, they are just as bad as the Tories.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said “John Swinney was the architect of austerity here in Scotland, downgraded the exam results of working-class schoolchildren, and has spent this election campaign defending the profits of oil and gas giants – it takes a brass neck to try and claim that he is running a left-wing campaign.

“All the SNP has to offer is the same old division and decline, and the party’s increasingly desperate attacks on Labour show how bereft of ideas it is.”