Scotland politics

General election 2017: Scottish parties resume campaigns

Nicola Sturgeon Image copyright PA
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon stopped for an ice cream while campaigning in Edinburgh

Scotland's political parties have resumed general election campaigning after a three-day pause in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.

Campaigning across the UK was suspended after Monday night's suicide bombing, with the SNP postponing its manifesto launch until next week.

Each of the Scottish party leaders have headed back out on the campaign trail.

They all said it was important to show that democracy was standing defiant in the face of terrorism.

A total of 22 people were killed and 116 injured when Salman Abedi blew himself up after an Ariana Grande concert.

Among the dead was 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod, from Barra. Her friend, Laura MacIntyre, 15, remains in hospital after suffering serious injuries in the blast.

Police have said that at least 41 people from Scotland were at the concert when the bomb was detonated.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ruth Davidson also had some ice cream in Giffnock

Some low-key local campaigning started on Thursday, and Holyrood staged the weekly first minister's questions.

The parties resumed their full national campaigns as of Friday morning.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, campaigning in Edinburgh, said the past few days had shown "examples of exceptional courage and selflessness".

And she said there was a "clear determination from people across the UK and beyond that we will stand defiant in the face of such cowardice".

Ms Sturgeon added: "In under two weeks, people in Scotland and across the UK face an important choice about the future direction of their country.

"But while we should be passionate in making our political arguments, we must never forget that we all want the best for our constituents and communities - and we are all united in our defence of democracy."

Image copyright Scottish Labour
Image caption Kezia Dugdale went go-karting in East Lothian

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was interviewed on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland radio programme in the last in a series of election interviews with party leaders.

Ms Davidson said that the Manchester victims would be at the "forefront of our minds" as electioneering resumed, but that it was right that the democratic process continues as the country prepares for the 8 June election.

Ms Davidson said: "Terrorists are attacking us because they hate our freedoms and our way of life. Nothing better rebukes their twisted ideology than the sight of campaigners out on our streets in free and fair elections asking for peoples' vote.

"We will not be beaten by terrorism. And as the election gets back under way, we will show that to be the case."

Image caption Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie visited a pharmacy in Glasgow

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale agreed that the time was now right for the campaigns to be restarted in order to "show how we value our freedom and democracy".

Ms Dugdale, who went go-karting in East Lothian, said: "In the coming weeks we'll see endless photo opportunities, fiery clashes in TV debates, and passionate town hall hustings.

"It's one way we can all show those who bring terror to our country that they will never win."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie was in Glasgow, where he said it was "crass and a mistake" for UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to bring up terrorism on the first day back.

He said: "We should be taking time to consider these very serious issues. But I think Jeremy Corbyn has made a colossal misjudgement - we should take time to consider the real consequences of these issues."

The Liberal Democrats will not be publishing their manifesto on Friday, as had originally been planned, with the event now being held on Wednesday - the day after the SNP's launch.

The Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour both unveiled their manifestos last week. The Scottish Greens are scheduled to launch theirs on Monday, with UKIP Scotland following suit on Wednesday.