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Nicola Sturgeon campaigns with disabled group as SNP shows ‘record’ diversity

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joins day of action with SNP Disabled Members Group during campaign to show support for diversity in the party (Jane Barlow/PA)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joins day of action with SNP Disabled Members Group during campaign to show support for diversity in the party (Jane Barlow/PA)

The First Minister of Scotland will join an SNP disability group during her campaign as the party claims to be fielding a record number of disabled candidates.

Nicola Sturgeon will take part in a day of action being held by the SNP Disabled Members Group on Saturday in the run up to Scotland’s council elections next month.

Joining members in Shotts and East Kilbride, Ms Sturgeon said she will add her personal support to the SNP’s efforts to drive up the number of disabled representatives in public life.

The party said it is fielding a record number of disabled candidates – with around one in five of the SNP’s candidates having a recognised disability.

“We all want to see our council chambers look more like the people they represent – so I am proud that the SNP is standing a more diverse set of candidates than we ever have before,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“Having more diversity within our elected representatives helps ensure the decisions being made take into account how they impact on people from different backgrounds and circumstances – especially important as we support people through a tough Tory cost of living crisis.

“We need the right policies and the right people to drive them forward.

“People who understand and care about the impact that rising costs are having on families – not out of touch Tory ministers.”

During her campaign, the SNP leader said she is highlighting what the Scottish Government is doing about the cost-of-living crisis, which she says “is in stark contrast to Tory policies that leave hundreds of thousands of Scots struggling with their daily lives”.

“At the moment, the contrast between the SNP in Holyrood and the Tories at Westminster could not be more stark,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“I am proud that we are showing leadership by doubling the Scottish Child Payment and uprating eight Scottish benefits by 6% – but it is fighting against the UK government who are failing to match this for the benefits it controls or use its reserved powers to boost wages and sick pay.

“My message to people across Scotland is this – speak up in this election, your voice matters. Don’t leave it to others to speak for you.

“If you are as outraged as I am about the Prime Minister’s contempt for the law, the Tories’ attacks on asylum seekers and their complete indifference to skyrocketing energy bills – let’s come together to reject the failed Tory agenda.

“If you want councillors who have a razor-sharp focus on supporting households through this cost of living crisis – backed up by real actions and not just hollow words – then please vote SNP on May 5.”

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