Scott seeks to distance himself from Tories

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The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has tried to distance himself from the UK Lib Dem/ Tory coalition. 

Scott said he was not comfortable about the Scottish party being “related” to the Tories.

His words came as Labour continued a doorstep campaign and the Conservatives put audio versions of their manifesto on their website. During this flurry of activity, Deputy First Minister of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, set out the SNP’s vision for Scotland.

Asked on BBC Scotland’s Politics Show about the impact of the UK Coalition on the Scottish Lib Dems, Mr Scott said: “It’s simply that the Liberal Democrats in Scotland are related to the Conservatives. I am not particularly comfortable about that.”

Mr Scott pointed to Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent speech on immigration, which he said Liberal Democrat colleague Vince Cable had been “very strongly against”.

He said Mr Cameron’s speech was “pretty extraordinary”, given that Liberal Democrats had helped end the detention of asylum seekers’ children at Dungavel.

Mr Scott continued: “That would not have happened if we had left the Conservatives on their own. In the same breath we have seen this weekend the AV referendum discussed in pretty ridiculous terms by a Tory who said apparently it could lead to race riots.

“Just extraordinary language from the Conservatives and not language that I am in any way comfortable with.”

Mr Scott said he would work, as he had done over the past year, with any of the other political parties in Scotland “on the Scottish interest”.

On his party’s election chances, Mr Scott said: “I want to do well, but it is a challenging election. We are fighting very good campaigns right across Scotland, and the response I am hearing when meeting people in different parts of the country is very positive indeed.”{jcomments on}