Scotland Election 2016

Jobs and farming feature in Holyrood election campaign

leader collage

Employment and rural policies have been highlighted by politicians as Holyrood election campaigning continues across Scotland.

Party leaders took to the streets from Dumfries to Inverness, while the SNP became the latest party to launch their election manifesto in Edinburgh.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour

Image copyright Kezia Dugdale / Twitter
Image caption Kezia Dugdale visited a nursery while in Dumfries

Kezia Dugdale outlined some of her rural policies while campaigning in Dumfries.

The Scottish Labour leader said she wanted to introduce a Food and Farming Bill at Holyrood to support the "vital" food and drink industry.

This would include the creation of a Scottish Food Commission to work with producers, strengthen rural communities and work to reduce food poverty across the country.

Ms Dugdale said: "Scottish food and drink is worth billions to our economy. It sustains jobs and communities and provides some of our most valuable and recognisable exports."

Ruth Davidson, Conservatives

Image copyright Ruth Davidson / Twitter
Image caption Ruth Davidson visited First Group in Cathcart in Glasgow

Ruth Davidson visited First Group, one of Scotland's largest employers, while campaigning in Glasgow.

As well as getting behind the wheel of a bus at the group's centre in Cathcart, the Scottish Conservative leader met with apprentices and tried her hand at repairing a bus seat.

Ms Davidson called on the SNP to "put the constitution to one side" and focus on delivering full employment in Scotland.

She also underlined Tory policies designed to back growth, including a freeze on business rates and a 10,000 increase in the number of apprentices.

Willie Rennie, Lib Dems

Image caption Willie Rennie campaigned at the Morningside Clock in Edinburgh

Willie Rennie called for "transformational" change in Scotland's public services while campaigning in Morningside in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Lib Dem leader said nine years of SNP government had "failed to deliver" for mental health patients and families who deserve free nursery care.

He said: "Scotland has been waiting almost a decade for the SNP to make the transformational change in our public services that would make them the best in the world again."

David Coburn, UKIP

Image caption David Coburn and Nigel Farage were somewhat upstaged by a pro-independence flag in Inverness

David Coburn was joined by UKIP leader Nigel Farage while campaigning on the streets of Inverness.

Mr Coburn defended himself in the wake of a row within UKIP about his leadership.

The MEP and Holyrood hopeful said activists who wrote a letter calling for him to be replaced should consider their position as they were not acting in the best interests of the party.

Mr Farage has also thrown his support behind the "colourful" Mr Coburn, saying the letter was "part of the natural growing pains that political parties have".

Patrick Harvie, Scottish Greens

Image copyright Scottish Greens / Twitter
Image caption Patrick Harvie helped out behind the counter at a visit to Social Bite

Patrick Harvie visited Social Bite, a sandwich shop enterprise providing food for the homeless, which donates all profits to social causes.

Mr Harvie brushed up on his barista skills and discussed employment with staff and customers.

A quarter of the team at Social Bite, which has five shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, are people who were formerly homeless.

Mr Harvie also spoke out about inclusive education, saying Scotland needs "an education system that meets the needs of LGBTI+ people".

SNP manifesto launch

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon was called upon to sign many manifestos in Edinburgh

Nicola Sturgeon launched the SNP manifesto at an event attended by 1,400 party supporters in Edinburgh.

The SNP leader made a plea for voters to elect her as first minister, asking for a "personal mandate" to "make our country even better".

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