Starmer offers ‘bleak alternative’ to younger voters, SNP’s John Swinney says

SNP leader John Swinney has warned young voters the future could be “bleak” with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour in charge at Westminster.

The Scottish First Minister has sent an open letter to young voters north of the border, saying that while the Tories will be “finished” after the General Election, a future Labour government will fail to act on the “real issues”.

Mr Swinney told this group that the SNP is “offering left-of-centre policies that will make life better for young people of Scotland”.

He told younger voters that their values would “always be protected” by SNP MPs at Westminster.

He stressed the SNP’s opposition to public spending cuts that he fears will be introduced by either a Labour or a Conservative government, while also highlighting his party’s commitment for an independent Scotland to rejoin the European Union.

In the letter, sent just over a week before polling day on July 4, the Scottish First Minister said: “After fourteen years of chaos, the Tories are finished – thank goodness.

“But the alternative on offer from Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is bleak.

“There will be no action on the real issues that matter to you, young voters in Scotland. Keir Starmer has promised to deliver more of the same: more cuts, more Brexit and more misery for young people.”

He told young Scots: “You deserve better than more of the same at Westminster. You deserve better than a choice between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.”

John Swinney makes a speech with SNP activists in the background
The Scottish First Minister has issued an open letter to younger voters, urging them to back the SNP in next week’s General Election (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Mr Swinney argued that by backing his party voters could “reject more cuts to services” and show their support “to rejoin the European Union and to take real action on the climate crisis”.

He pledged: “The SNP will stand firmly against more cuts – estimated to reach £18 billion – and we will protect our NHS from Westminster privatisation.

“The SNP is the only party that is proudly European. Brexit has failed and we want to rejoin the European Union, and agree an EU-wide youth mobility scheme.

“The SNP has set targets to reach net zero by 2045, five years sooner than the rest of the UK, and we will fight for fair funding for the climate and nature crises from Westminster.

“At Westminster our MPs have led the way in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Our position has been clear and consistent, and we will continue to press for an end of arms sales to Israel, the release of all hostages and the immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

“We are the party that introduced free university tuition in Scotland and free bus travel for under-22s, and we are the only party that can be trusted to protect those policies.”