Only the SNP will stand up for Scotland’s voice

People across Scotland continue to put their trust in the SNP to stand up for them – and we do not, and will never, take this for granted.

The SNP has always been, and will continue to be, Scotland’s voice – whether that’s in councils, in Holyrood, at Westminster and on the world stage.

It is what the SNP has done for the past 90 years and I’ve borne witness to that for almost half of its entire history, having been a party member for over 40 years and an MP for almost 20.

When the people of Scotland voted decisively to stay in the EU, SNP MPs led the charge against Boris Johnson’s unlawful attempts to shut down parliament so he could avoid any scrutiny on his disgraceful Brexit plans.

When the people of Scotland made it clear they wanted to see an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to UK arms sales to Israel, SNP MPs were the first to lead these calls.

And when the people of Scotland overwhelmingly reject the Tory government’s broken Brexit Britain, it is the SNP Westminster leader who holds the Prime Minister to account on the real issues of the day.

With Keir Starmer’s Labour Party and the Tories aligned on more issues than not – from Gaza and Brexit to NHS privatisation and public spending – it is the SNP who are Scotland’s voice.

Over the years and through various positions, including Deputy Party Leader, Deputy Westminster Leader and Treasury spokesperson, I have had a front row seat to exactly how Westminster works for Scotland – the simple truth is that it doesn’t, at all.

Scotland hasn’t voted for the Tories in almost 70 years, yet in that time we’ve had over 40 years of UK Conservative governments.

And these governments we haven’t voted for have imposed damaging policies and made catastrophic decisions – from Thatcher’s poll tax, to Cameron’s brutal austerity, Johnson’s Brexit and Truss’ mini-budget.

Scotland is now a part of a broken, Brexit Britain as a result of governments and policies we never voted for.

In stark contrast, the SNP has been in government in Scotland for the past 17 years and has shown that we will always do what we can with the powers we have to counteract damaging Westminster policies, improve the lives of people across Scotland and look after our people.

We have delivered free university education, prescriptions, eye tests and dental examinations, and we are saving families up to £2,500 per child on free childcare, lifting an estimated 100,000 of children out of poverty, freezing the Council Tax for households across Scotland, and providing free care – to name a few.

And we’ve done all of this despite Westminster trying to drag us backwards.

What seems to be clear is that things are better when decisions are made in Scotland, for Scotland – and, with the full powers of independence, we could go further and faster to achieve a fairer, more equal country.

Scotland deserves the opportunity to reach our full potential. We deserve to get the governments we elect. We deserve independence.

But until that time comes, Scotland deserves to be heard at Westminster.

As the SNP’s campaign coordinator, I will ensure the SNP continues to stand up for Scotland’s values at Westminster and show that people are right to put their trust in us.

This article by Stewart Hosie MP was originally published in the Sunday Herald.