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First Minister visits Fraserburgh charity to kick-start general election campaign

Eilidh Whiteford and Nicola Sturgeon help mother and daughter pair Kathleen Schuitema and Lindsay Palmer open their shop.
Eilidh Whiteford and Nicola Sturgeon help mother and daughter pair Kathleen Schuitema and Lindsay Palmer open their shop.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the north-east yesterday to launch the SNP’s campaign in Fraserburgh.

Ms Sturgeon was backing Eilidh Whiteford for re-election in the Banff and Buchan constituency and toured the port to meet with campaigners and supporters.

She also took the opportunity to visit the Here For You Centre which offers a food bank and advice to some of the towns most disadvantaged.

Last night, she said the visit highlighted the important work being done in the town and why it was important that people gave the party their support when they return to the polls in June.

Ms Sturgeon, who also visited Lossiemouth later in the day, said: “They (The Here for You Centre) do great work – I was impressed with what the centre does and I was really impressed with the staff and the volunteers.

“I don’t want to see a situation where people are relying on food banks, but we know with the benefit cuts just now that more people do they need that help, so to have that help is really important.”

Ms Sturgeon’s visit came just hours after the Conservative candidate for Mrs Whiteford’s ward, David Duguid, launched his own plea to voters.

The Tories had won a seat in the town at last month’s council elections – their first in constituency since the 80s.

And Mr Duguid said voters have had “enough” of the SNP.

The First Minister also argued that only the SNP can protect Scotland’s pensioners from a Conservative “assault” on their finances while visiting Moray yesterday.

Nicola Sturgeon rallied the region’s Nationalist supporters at a campaign gathering near Lossiemouth.

The SNP leader mingled with local campaigners against plans to increase the state pension age to 65 for women.

She chatted with activists from the local branch of the The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign group at Covesea’s Aroma Cafe.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Our manifesto puts inequality at the heart of this election, whereas the Tory manifesto is an assault on pensioners.

“SNP voices will be voices of justice for the Waspi women and for pensioners generally.”

The Waspi collective claims that 4,500 women in Moray face losing up to £40,000 in pension payments each as a result of changes to regulations.

They are arguing that plans to increase the state pension age to 65 for women by November 2018, and 66 by 2020, are unfair on those born in the 1950s.

While the SNP insists that only Angus Robertson can fight the corner of affected women in Moray, the Conservatives claim otherwise.

Tory hopeful Douglas Ross said: “I believe the best way to fight for a better deal is to have an MP for Moray at the heart of government speaking up on our behalf.”

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