May urges Scottish voters to reject SNP after Corbyn slams her ‘simple slogans’
The PM asked voters to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations.
Theresa May urged Scottish voters to stand up against SNP “separatists” and again pitched her “strong and stable leadership” after being accused by Jeremy Corbyn of relying on “simple slogans”.
The Prime Minister made sought to capitalise on growing Tory support north of the border, where the party has only one MP, saying she would ensure Scotland and the UK “flourish together”.
In the village of Crathes, Aberdeenshire, where several journalists complained of a lack of mobile signal, Mrs May reiterated her call for voters to back her to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations.
It came after Mr Corbyn accused her of slipping into a “presidential bunker mentality”, reliant on sound bites and squeezing dissent.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacted to Mrs May’s foray north by urging voters not to allow the nation to be “dragged back” by an “increasingly hard-line right wing Tory Government” in Westminster.
But Mrs May’s visit underlined the size of the victory she thinks is within her grasp, with the Tories now the leading unionist party north of the border, according to polls.
Making a direct plea to Scottish voters who oppose independence, the PM said: “We want to ensure that we build a more secure and united nation.
“That means taking action against the extremists who would divide us and standing up against the separatists who want to break up our country.”
Mrs May added: “My commitment is clear that if you strengthen my hand in those Brexit negotiations, I will work to ensure that Scotland and the UK flourish together.”
Mrs May spoke after Mr Corbyn addressed supporters in the Labour stronghold of Whitechapel, east London, in his most personal speech of the campaign so far.
He compared Mrs May to Tony Blair, whose premiership he said showed what can go wrong if leaders go unchallenged because his Labour government “bought into Conservative ideas” about the economy that left Britain with no defence against the financial crisis.
The Labour leader said Mrs May is “insecure” because she wants more power, while he would empower others as PM.
He said: “While it might not be the stuff of sound bites, I have always believed in standing firm and empowering others to make up their minds and come on board when they are ready.
“It is the mindset that serves the many, not the few.”
Tim Farron used a visit to Liberal Democrat-held Leeds North West to urge voters to back his party because Britain “desperately” needs the strong opposition that Mr Corbyn is failing to provide.
He said: “You do not need to agree with me or with us on absolutely everything, we can differ on some points, but we can agree on one thing – and that is Britain desperately needs that strong and decent opposition and only the Liberal Democrats can be it.”