Scottish Tories to launch manifesto with Rishi Sunak

The Scottish Conservatives will launch their manifesto on Monday, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expected to speak.

The party will lay out its "laser-like focus on the real priorities of the Scottish public" at an event in Edinburgh.

Recruiting 1,000 more GPs and police officers, improving rural trunk roads, "backing teachers to teach and increasing subject choices for pupils" and cuts to income tax and national insurance form the core of the party's manifesto ahead of the 4 July election.

The party will also announce the intermediate income tax rate - which sees Scots pay 21p in the pound on earnings between £26,562 and £43,662 - should be reduced by 1p.

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"The Scottish Conservative manifesto has a laser-like focus on the real priorities of the Scottish public," said Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross.

"It provides solutions to the problems caused by years of SNP incompetence and poor decision-making.

"We are committed to tackling the waiting-times crisis in Scotland's NHS by recruiting 1,000 extra GPs, the crisis in Scottish policing by recruiting 1,000 extra officers, restoring our schools by backing teachers, upgrading our neglected trunk roads and cutting taxes for hard-working Scots.

"These are the issues that matter to Scots - but which have been ignored by the SNP as they've focused relentlessly on independence.

"Every Scottish Conservative MP elected will be committed to delivering on these policies and the priorities of their constituents."

Mr Sunak will urge Scottish voters to "send the nationalists the strongest message possible that the people of Scotland want to move on from their independence obsession".

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Scottish Tory leader issues Reform warning

It comes after Mr Ross conceded the party's campaign has been "very difficult", but warned voters about backing Reform UK.

The party has been under fire north and south of the border in recent weeks over Mr Ross's decision to stand in the election in the stead of an ill colleague, the prime minister's decision to leave the D-Day commemorations early and allegations senior party figures have placed bets on the date of the election.

Mr Ross told the BBC voters moving across to Nigel Farage's Reform UK in Scotland would result in an easier ride for the SNP.

"It has been very difficult and I'm not going to shy away from that," he told the BBC's Sunday Show.

"I put myself forward for interview knowing that a number of these issues will come up.

"But I'm also out on doors, speaking to voters here in the northeast, and across the country, and hearing that they are annoyed, upset and disappointed with an SNP government that's been in charge for 17 years."