Ian Blackford slams Labour taking Tories’ second place
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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has mocked the Labour Party on their victory over the Conservative Party for taking second place in Scotland’s local elections, as the SNP has almost twice as many votes. While Labour rose to the third place with 282 councillors, the Conservative party got 214, losing 63 councillors compared to the previous election. The SNP overwhelmingly won Scotland’s local elections with 453 councillors.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ian Blackford said: “The party that had the biggest increase in seats and the biggest increase in its vote was the SNP.
“What we saw further down the batting order if you like, is that Labour have replaced the Tories in second place.
“It’s like two bald men fighting over a comb if I may say so.”
“And actually, this is the Labour’s second-worst results in local authorities’ elections in Scotland over the course of the last 50 years.
“So, I congratulated them on picking up the seats that they’ve done but in essence, this is just a reflection of what is the collapse of the Tory vote.”
The local elections come amid lockdown-breaking accusations directed both at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Conservative leader Boris Johnson. Both leaders are under investigation for participating in lockdown-busting events.
This election was a test for Boris Johnson who was fined for breaking coronavirus rules at his birthday party in Downing Street during the first coronavirus lockdown in June 2020. In a blow to Boris Johnson, Conservatives lost almost 500 seats and the control of several councils, including three flagship councils in London.
“We had a tough night in some parts of the country”, Prime Minister Johnson conceded.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross put the blame on Partygate for losing councillors across Scotland, saying: “From people I’ve spoken to it’s very clear, Partygate was the dominating issue here.”
Mr Ross also told the BBC the public had sent a very clear message “that they are not happy with the prime minister, they are not happy with Partygate.”
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Boris Johnson still faces the prospect of more penalties from the Met police who are investigating 12 illegal events that allegedly took place in Downing Street.
In Ian Blackford’s assessment, the Conservative’s loss is also due to the cost-of-living crisis: “We asked people in this election to send a message to Boris Johnson and sensibly about the concerns that people have over the cost-of-living crisis.
“So, we saw the disdain that Boris Johnson seemed to have for that woman that had to sit on a bus because she can’t afford to sit at home and heat her home.
“We are asking the Conservatives to take the message.”
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