Route to Labour government runs through Scotland, says Starmer

The route to a Labour government runs through Scotland, Sir Keir Starmer has said in his last campaign stop north of the border before polls open.

Addressing activists and journalists in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on Wednesday afternoon, the Labour leader hit out at the SNP – the party’s main challengers in Scotland.

John Swinney’s party has said sending SNP MPs to Westminster will ensure the next government is held to account – but Sir Keir instead wants more Scottish Labour MPs to sit at the heart of his administration.

“I want a Labour government to have Scotland at its heart,” he said.

“The route to a Labour government runs through Scotland, has always run through Scotland.

“I want voters in Scotland not to send a message, the SNP say, the most important election for I don’t know how long and they say what? Send a message.

“Send someone, an SNP MP, to sit on the opposition benches for this important period of history, and say a few things across the aisle.

“I don’t want Scotland to send a message, I want Scotland to send a government.”

Earlier, a letter to voters from Sir Keir appeared in the Daily Record newspaper, in which he said: “When you walk into your local polling station tomorrow, there are two futures on the ballot paper.

Sir Keir Starmer smiles as he walks through a crowd of people clapping
Sir Keir Starmer is campaigning across Britain on the eve of polling day (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“The Tory and SNP candidates offer more of the same – more sleaze and scandal, and more division and decline.

“The last Labour government transformed Scotland – investing in our NHS, creating the national minimum wage, lifting hundreds of thousands of Scots out of poverty, and creating the Scottish Parliament.”

Sir Keir was in Scotland as part of a tour of the UK in the 24 hours before polls open, and during his visit he met with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Sarwar said Labour will “secure a better future for Scotland”.

He also cautioned voters against five more years of the “sleazy Tories”.

Anas Sarwar and Sir Keir Starmer taking selfies with a group of Labour supporters
Anas Sarwar, right, said Labour offers Scotland ‘an opportunity for change’ (PA)

Mr Sarwar said: “This election is an opportunity for change that Scotland cannot afford to miss.

“Imagine waking up on Friday to the news of five more years under the Tories – the same sleazy Tories that put party before country, crashed the economy and left ordinary families to pick up the bill.

“But with a simple cross in a box on Thursday, Scots can end the Tory nightmare and deliver a transformative Labour government with Scotland at its heart.

“A Labour government in the service of working people with Scottish MPs at its heart is in reach – but only if you vote for it.

“This election is a straight choice between a broken status quo with two bad governments, or change with Labour.”