Early election announcement
In a statement from Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, on the early election announcement.
"This announcement is one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history, and it shows that Theresa May is once again putting the interests of her party ahead of those of the country. She is clearly betting that the Tories can win a bigger majority in England given the utter disarray in the Labour party.
"That makes it all the more important that Scotland is protected from a Tory party which now sees the chance of grabbing control of government for many years to come and moving the UK further to the right – forcing through a hard Brexit and imposing deeper cuts in the process.
"That means that this will be – more than ever before – an election about standing up for Scotland, in the face of a right-wing, austerity obsessed Tory government with no mandate in Scotland but which now thinks it can do whatever it wants and get away with it. In terms of Scotland, this move is a huge political miscalculation by the prime minister.
"It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.
"The SNP will always put the people of Scotland first – and between now and June 8 we will work harder than ever to retain the trust of the people."col02