Nicola Sturgeon closes SNP conference with rallying cry for “inclusive Scotland”

SNP leader claims party is taking action to build a more inclusive society 

SCOTLAND’S future is between a choice of an inclusive, compassionate politics and the exclusion and xenophobia of the Tory party, Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP conference on its final day in Glasgow. 

Sturgeon, responding to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of recent Tory conference, said her duty as first minister was to build a “inclusive Scotland” for all citizens. 

The speech presented her party as a liberal, welcoming political force, attempting to appeal to all social classes and voters across the spectrum. 

Describing her idea of “inclusion”, Sturgeon said: “It encapsulates what we stand for as a party and it describes the kind of country we want Scotland to be. An inclusive country.

The conference was the first national meeting of the party’s membership since it was re-elected to government in the May 2016 election.

“A country where everyone has the opportunity to contribute to a better future and to share in the benefits of that better future. A country which works for those who value the security they currently have and for those who yearn for change.

“A country where we value people for the contribution they make. Not one where we will ever judge them on their country of birth or the colour of their passport.

“That is the inclusive Scotland we are working to build.”

Sturgeon said these values shaped her policies across education, healthcare, family support, and industry. 

Sturgeon described the Tory party as “xenophobic, closed, inward looking, discriminatory”

The conference was the first national meeting of the party’s membership since it was re-elected to government in the May 2016 election. 

However, that election has since been overtaken by events after the Brexit vote created economic, political and constitutional chaos over the summer - chaos that has yet to be met with any clear clarity on future negotiations. 

The Tory leadership response to Brexit has included more extreme rhetoric towards inward migration.

Sturgeon described the Tory party as “xenophobic, closed, inward looking, discriminatory”. She added that this illiberal politics defined the UK Government’s values.

“Today's Tories display an ingrained hostility to immigration and offer a stony heart to refugees. They treat those with disabilities with suspicion.

“People seeking support to get back into employment are humiliated and harassed. A mother unable to find the bus fare to get to a job centre appointment is more likely to face a benefit sanction than she is to be offered a helping hand. 

“And those from other European countries who have chosen to make their homes here - human beings with lives, jobs and families - they are treated as no more than bargaining chips.”

Picture: SNP Youtube Live 

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