SNP leader John Swinney has said that independence will “proudly sit on page one, line one” of his party’s General Election manifesto when it is launched next week.

Speaking ahead of the launch, the First Minister said the manifesto would offer people in Scotland a “real vision of hope”, in contrast to the “continuing despair” being offered by Westminster.

He said SNP MPs would oppose spending cuts and propose investment in public services like the NHS, and that his party would push for independence so that Scotland could “match the success of our European neighbours”.

Mr Swinney said: “Austerity, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis were all made in Westminster – and in this campaign the SNP is exposing just how much these bad decisions have damaged Scotland.

“In this election it is the SNP who is offering the real alternative to the cosy Westminster consensus. Our manifesto will focus on the issues that matter most to people, offering a real vision of hope in stark contrast to the continuing despair being offered by Westminster.

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