Senior figures on Scotland campaign trail

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Senior figures have been campaigning in Scotland on the penultimate weekend before the general election.

In East Dunbartonshire, Nicola Sturgeon vowed to put young people at the centre of the SNP’s manifesto.

In Perth, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the SNP should take a second independence referendum off the table.

Ex-Labour leader Gordon Brown branded the Tories and SNP as “collaborators” in rising child poverty.

And Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie promised to “stand against the political dividers of our time”, as he hit out at the SNP and the Conservatives.

‘Strong voice’

Out on the campaign trail, Ms Sturgeon said her party would be “a strong voice at Westminster standing up for Scotland’s young people”.

She was speaking ahead of the official launch of the SNP’s manifesto on Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Young people are our future – the most valuable resource that we have – and it’s important that we create the best opportunities for them to get ahead in life and to achieve their potential.

“The Tories think they can get away with passing the burden of deeper cuts and further austerity on to families, which can often hit children the hardest.

“The SNP will never sit idly by and let them take those opportunities away.

“In government, we have made education our priority in Scotland – investing in a transformation in early years education and childcare and making sure that university students don’t get lumped with a £27,000 bill just for the opportunity to learn.”

During her visit to Perth, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson called on the SNP to “take a second independence referendum off the table.”

She said: “The people of Scotland don’t want it, we voted to stay part of the United Kingdom, and what we want is a government in Edinburgh that can work with the government in London to make sure we make our country better.

“It is about getting back to the day job, improving our schools and not trying to split our country up again.”

During a visit to Greenock, former Labour leader and prime minister Gordon Brown said the SNP government in Scotland should be doing more to tackle inequality north of the border.

He said: “In the 1980s under Mrs Thatcher, three million children were in poverty. By the time the Tories left office in 1997, there were four million children in poverty.

“We brought poverty down by raising child benefit, with child tax credits, the minimum wage, but then after 2010, poverty started rising again.

“Last year, it was 3.9 million in Britain, 4.1 million this year and it’s going to rise according to all forecasts to 5.1 million children by 2022 – more poverty under Mrs May than Mrs Thatcher.

“A Britain that she says she’s going to unite but will be more socially divided and economically polarised than ever.

“The Scottish National Party are collaborators in this rise in poverty and this attack on living standards.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said that every Lib Dem MP would “stand against the political dividers of our time”.

On a visit to an alpaca farm on the outskirts of Edinburgh, he said: “A majority of people in Scotland want to keep the United Kingdom but the SNP want to divide it. They do not speak for Scotland.

“The SNP should cancel their plans for a divisive referendum on independence.

“And a majority of people in Scotland want to keep the European Union but the Conservatives want to divide that. They do not speak for Scotland.”

He added: “No-one else stands with the majority of Scotland – for the United Kingdom and for the European Union. Liberal Democrats do.

“We are pro-UK, pro-Europe and progressive.”