Scotland politics

SNP conference: Hosie says his party will ensure the referendum vow is delivered

Stewart Hosie Image copyright EPA
Image caption Stewart Hosie is the deputy leader of the Scottish National Party

Only SNP MPs will ensure that the "vow" outlined by pro-Union parties ahead of the Scottish independence referendum would be delivered.

That was the message of Stewart Hosie who delivered the closing speech to the SNP conference in Glasgow.

The deputy leader said the SNP could be the "real guarantors of new powers".

Days before last year's referendum, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives pledged more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

After the country voted "No" to independence by 45% to 55%, Prime Minister David Cameron set up the Smith Commission to look at greater devolution.

Recommendations were made and a command paper was published at Westminster.

The pro-Union parties all said they would take forward those recommendations if they won the 7 May election.

Mr Hosie told the conference gathering: "The only way to make sure Westminster delivers - on anything - will be to return the largest ever number of SNP MPs to Westminster.

"And returning a large group of MPs - who will work together to ensure, firstly, that the promises made are delivered, and secondly to protect and further Scotland's interests - is vital.

"It will make the Scottish National Party the real guarantors of new powers."

He said he wanted to make it clear that the general election should not be a re-run of the referendum.

But Mr Hosie added that the May vote was "Scotland's chance to hold Westminster to account" ensuring they honoured "the Vow" they made to the people of Scotland.

'Austerity has failed'

The MP said the party would work "like never before" to turn its current standing in the polls into MPs at Westminster.

Recent polling has suggested that the SNP is on course to winning the majority of Scotland's 59 seats.

On the eve of the start of the official election campaign, he said a vote for the SNP was needed to help bring about an end to austerity.

With both the Conservatives and Labour "signed up to another £30bn of cuts" Mr Hosie believed the UK was "on track for a decade of austerity - unless we achieve change by voting SNP for investment in jobs and growth".

He insisted that while "austerity has failed" the nationalists offer a "real alternative" to the election.

Mr Hosie added: "We know the opinion polls are in our favour. But this is only potential.

"Our job is now to work like never before. To turn this electoral potential into votes and seats. If we do that then this nation will prosper and flourish."

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