Jackson Carlaw post-election comments
Please see a copy of comments today by Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw following yesterday’s General Election.
“I’d like to begin today by congratulating all those of any party who won a seat in the House of Commons last night.
It’s a tremendous honour to represent your constituents as an elected member and I hope all of them are proud of their achievement.
Let me also pay huge thanks to the entire Scottish Conservative team for a magnificent effort over the last seven weeks.
The volunteers, the professional staff and of course all our candidates.
And in particular I’d like to pay tribute to my five former Scottish MP colleagues who lost their seats last night.
I’m sorry they only had two and a half years in the House of Commons because in that time, they achieved so much for their constituents, for Scotland and the wider UK.
I know and trust that they will be back - and that they will continue to make a contribution to public life in Scotland.
At the beginning of this campaign, there were confident predictions that we faced an electoral wipe out in Scotland.
By the end, the predictions had changed and we were told we might hold on to all of them.
So there is, of course, no way of getting round the fact that going from 13 to 6 MPs in Scotland is a disappointment to us
But the numbers show that – having made our breakthrough in 2016 and 2017 – we have now cemented our position as Scotland’s main opposition party to the SNP.
Winning nearly 700,000 votes across the country is a fantastic achievement.
Unlike Labour, we have largely maintained our share of the vote – with our second best showing since 1992.
And most importantly of all, we will now be part of a majority Conservative government at Westminster.
This is good news for Scotland.
It means that the gridlock and paralysis we have seen at Westminster over the last 3 years can finally come to an end.
And it means we do not have to fear the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn government breaking the bank and ripping up the foundations of our country.
I’ve already spoken to the Prime Minister this morning to discuss his plans and I congratulated him on the result across the whole of the UK.
And I am confident that next week he will present a unifying agenda as he begins work, that will put strengthening the Union at its heart.
Making sure that our Union of four nations – Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland – works for all its people and gives us the security and prosperity we all want.
In the last hour, I’ve heard Nicola Sturgeon already demand the powers to hold a second referendum on independence.
Of course, up until 10pm last night, that was not the story told by the SNP. It was, they said, about stopping Brexit.
Nonetheless, the SNP has reverted to form and decided to take every vote it won yesterday as a free pass for a referendum next year.
I am clear – Nicola Sturgeon’s plan would take us back to more division and chaos.
Imagine – just as the rest of the UK is now set to move on and put constitution division and referendum fever behind it, Scotland would remain stuck, the one part of this country still trapped in the divisive arguments of the past, unable to focus on the challenges of the future.
So today I want to reassure the people who gave us their support yesterday that we still stand firmly as before.
And say to them directly:
You voted for us to stop that referendum.
We will not let you down.
The 2014 referendum was a once in a generation event. It should be respected as such.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist party will be the party to do so.”
One last chance to stop Sturgeon’s Indyref2
JACKSON Carlaw and Ruth Davidson have told voters in Scotland they have “one last chance” to stop Nicola Sturgeon’s indyref2 becoming a reality by Friday – by voting Scottish Conservative and Unionist tomorrow.
The leader and former leader of the party came together at a rally in Edinburgh to set out their closing messages to voters.
Mr Carlaw warned voters that by Friday, they could be “powerless” to stop Nicola Sturgeon’s drive for a second referendum. He urged all pro-UK voters to lend the Scottish Conservatives their vote tomorrow, saying their vote could make the difference in seats where the election is on a “knife edge”.
Ms Davidson said voters in Scotland tomorrow held the future of the country in their hands and could choose to “turn the clock back” or move the nation forward.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:
"We have said for some days that in seat after seat, the election in Scotland is on a knife edge. Today we see more evidence of just how true that is. A few hundred votes either way will decide whether Nicola Sturgeon gets her way and takes us back to a second referendum next year – or whether we can all move forward as a country to take on the challenges and opportunities ahead."
"Today I’m asking those people in Scotland who are still considering how to vote tomorrow to walk to the precipice and look over the cliff edge. The fact is we are now staring down at the very real risk of a second referendum on independence being held next year. A second referendum which would divide us all over again and could lead to the break-up of our country by Christmas next year. If you don’t act tomorrow, by Friday Nicola Sturgeon may have the power to march us all off that cliff and into a second referendum – and there will be nothing we can do about it."
"We will be powerless to act. Unable to have our say. She will be able to dictate terms, speak in our name, insist on her way being followed – we will have to just sit there are take it. That’s the reality of what we face on Friday."
"The most significant vote I ever took was to vote No to Independence in 2014. It will always be. But tomorrow is now just as important. This is now a straight decision: do you want to stop Sturgeon’s referendum, or not. It is decision time. We have one chance to stop Nicola Sturgeon. And it is our last chance to tell her. Our last chance to insist she listens to us for once.”
"She has had her say – now it’s time for us to have ours."
"So I’m urging everyone who doesn’t want to go back to yet more division to get out and vote – and vote for the one party which can be guaranteed to stand up to Nicola Sturgeon. Two years ago, we took seats from the SNP – and forced her to listen. So you can be assured that voting for us works. That’s why – whatever our differences on other issues – I’m asking people who don’t normally vote Scottish Conservative to lend us your vote, and help us stop her."
"There’s so much else to debate and deliver once this election is over. Supporting our NHS, building jobs, getting Brexit sorted – and we need to talk about this and more. But tomorrow, let’s do this one big thing together. Let’s put an end to a decade of division in Scotland. Let’s make clear – no to a second referendum on independence. That’s what the country needs first and foremost. Lend your vote to the Scottish Conservative and Unionists tomorrow, stop indyref2 – and let the country move on."
Former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson added:
“I’ve spent this campaign out of the TV studios, but on the doorsteps. All over Scotland I’ve heard the same message from people – they have had enough of Nicola Sturgeon’s endless attempts to drag us all back to yet another referendum. She said it was once in a generation. Now she wants to hold one next year. Scotland simply does not want this, and people are yearning for governments at Westminster and Holyrood who will put the division of the last few years behind us, and get back to what matters.”
“So tomorrow, people in Scotland hold the country's future in their hands. They can turn the clock back, or they can choose to move us forward.”
“The truth is that the only way to do that, in seat after seat, is to vote Scottish Conservative and Unionist. We did it before. When we knocked the SNP back in 2017, Nicola Sturgeon had to listen, and she pressed pause on the referendum. Voting Scottish Conservative works. If we tell her again tomorrow, we can make her listen again, and stop that referendum for good.”
“Let’s just remember: Nicola Sturgeon will be demanding that referendum as soon as this election is over. She's already said so. And this is our last chance to stop her.”
“I’m urging everybody – whether you’re a regular Tory voter, Labour voter or none of the above, to lend us your vote. Let’s stop indyref2 and get Scotland moving forward.”