The SNP are the party for all of Scotland – defending our right to choose our own future

When I announced that I would not be seeking re-election as the SNP MP for Dundee East, I promised to remain active in the SNP and the cause of independence for Scotland.

I remain just as committed to our movement as I was when I became a party member in 1983, so it is a huge honour to be appointed SNP Campaign Director for the upcoming general election, allowing me to spearhead our movement over the coming year.

The SNP is the party for all of Scotland – rooted in Scotland’s values and defending Scotland’s right to choose its own future, and I cannot wait to take our positive message to every voter across this great country.

I, along with our fantastic candidates and fellow SNP members, will be making the case for a brighter future for Scotland and its people – which is all the more important when the damage of Westminster rule has been so severe.

Not only are households and businesses across these Isles suffering as a direct result of Brexit – which now has the full backing of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party – but austerity and the disastrous Liz Truss mini budget have resulted in a cost of living crisis with rampant inflation and sky-high mortgage bills.

With Sir Keir Starmer also rowing in behind absurd Tory economic orthodoxy and spending plans; pledging to implement a programme of austerity 2.0 and echoing the right wing rhetoric on matters such as immigration and NHS privatisation, it is clear that Westminster isn’t working for Scotland.

Meanwhile the SNP is delivering for Scotland where it can with the limited powers of devolution – implementing game-changing policies like the Scottish Child Payment while putting money back into people’s pockets through a national Council tax freeze and supporting our public services despite Westminster cuts.

The SNP Scottish Government has also ensured people are benefiting from free university education, free personal care, free prescriptions and free bus travel for under-22s and over 60s.

The impact of these policies is felt from Dumfries, to Dundee, to Dingwall – and I am proud each SNP candidate for the Westminster election can stand on this progressive track record that shows the meaningful difference made when their values are reflected in their government by our party.These actions reflect Scotland’s values and that will always be what the SNP represents.

However, for as long as Scotland remains tied to broken Brexit Britain, we will remain hamstrung by Westminster incompetence and it is vital that there are SNP MPs at Westminster standing up for Scotland’s values, being Scotland’s voice at Westminster and challenging the cosy Westminster consensus that the Tories and Labour are both signed up to.

Nothing illustrates the importance of the SNP at Westminster more clearly than the leadership shown by the First Minister, Stephen Flynn and our team of MPs over the devastating conflict in Gaza. The SNP has been the only party to consistently call for an immediate ceasefire (forcing the Labour Party to change its position) and continue to call for an end of arms sales to Israel.

This is the kind of leadership that we can be proud of – the kind of leadership that represents Scotland’s values.

But, true to form, when push comes to shove, Labour and the Tories have shamefully shied away from standing up for Scotland because they will all prioritise winning over Tory voters in England.

Scotland deserves better.

Where the Westminster parties offer nothing more than rebranding the same old right wing disastrous policies, the SNP will always offer hope – something sorely missing and needed right now.

At the general election Scottish voters have the chance to reject the cosy status quo of a broken Westminster system and take a step towards a more prosperous, independent Scotland – where we’ll never again have Tory governments that we don’t vote for.

With every SNP candidates confirmed in all 57 Scottish constituencies, the SNP is ready and raring for the Westminster election.

And our message to the people of Scotland is one of optimism and hope: vote SNP to make Scotland Tory free, vote SNP for a strong voice at Westminster standing up for Scotland and vote SNP to ensure that decisions are made in Scotland, for Scotland.

So let’s get on with taking that message to the doorsteps!

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