By Bill Heaney
Labour can beat the SNP across the country because Humza Yousaf’s party no longer puts Scotland first, Anas Sarwar will say Monday.
The Scottish Labour leader will accuse the Tories and the SNP of treating politics as a game during his keynote speech to Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool, as he sets out how a Labour government would deliver the change Scotland so desperately needs.
Speaking days after the party delivered a seismic victory in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, he is expected to say that no SNP MP “can sit taking their communities for granted as so many have”.
Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar MSP is expected to say: “The result in Rutherglen and Hamilton West showed something I’ve long suspected, and that I imagine the SNP have long feared.
“The cracks in the foundations of the SNP are deeper and wider than they’ve ever recognised and while senior nationalists have lined up in TV studios to blame the voters – they have missed the point.
“Just like the Tories before them, they’ve made the mistake of thinking politics is a game.
“But I’ve got a message for them. Politics is about service – delivering for communities. It isn’t about the same old constitutional fights and asking people to pay more for less. It isn’t about failing to support our public services and trying to blame somebody else.
“Politics is about changing lives. It is about delivering a future where everyone can live up to their potential. It is about serving the people of Scotland. That is what the SNP have forgotten.
“It’s that failure to stand up for Scotland, that failure to put country before party that has seen people turn their backs on them. Now no SNP MP can sit safely, taking their communities for granted as so many have. So I say to Humza Yousaf: this isn’t about swings or the polls – this is about putting the people of Scotland first.
“And because you won’t do that – we can beat you across Scotland. Every community in Scotland now has the chance to choose change with Scottish Labour.”