Largest ever SNP conference attracts international interest

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International eyes will be on Inverness as SNP conference kicks off today with a record number of diplomats from over 20 countries joining around 2,000 members and visitors in Inverness for the largest ever SNP Conference.

The number of international visitors is significantly higher than in previous years as the SNP’s historic mandate to form Scotland’s first ever majority government and the increasing momentum toward independence for Scotland capture international attention.

International eyes will be on Inverness as SNP conference kicks off today with a record number of diplomats from over 20 countries joining around 2,000 members and visitors in Inverness for the largest ever SNP Conference.

The number of international visitors is significantly higher than in previous years as the SNP’s historic mandate to form Scotland’s first ever majority government and the increasing momentum toward independence for Scotland capture international attention.

The 77th annual SNP conference is the first since the SNP became Scotland’s majority government in May’s elections and will see the party thank Scotland’s voters for their trust.

International diplomats from countries such as Denmark, Germany, Austria and Japan will be joined by the largest ever number of elected members with 76 elected parliamentarians, 363 councillors, over 1,200 members and delegates, and over 150 members of the media.

It is estimated that the conference at Eden Court in Inverness will contribute £3.68 million to the Inverness economy.

Speaking ahead of the conference, SNP Depute Leader and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We meet in Inverness with a historic mandate from the people of Scotland, and real momentum.  With representatives from over 20 countries heading to Inverness, international interest is growing in Scotland’s government and Scotland’s future.

“In May, the people of Scotland gave us a historic mandate to govern, and the momentum as we build towards the referendum.

“In office we have shown that we can govern well, and in the interests of the whole nation.  Scotland’s NHS is safe from Tory privatisation plans, our students have been protected from tuition fees for their higher education, and we are maintaining the 1,000 extra police officers on our streets while they are being cut south of the Border.

“And within our current powers we have pursued an alternative economic strategy – a ‘Plan MacB’ – which has delivered lower unemployment and higher employment rates than the position across the UK as a whole.  But we could do so much more with more powers for our parliament.

“With a majority SNP Government, Scotland is taking a positive and confident path as a nation.  The political map was redrawn in May, and this conference is our opportunity to thank those who gave us their trust and to set out the next steps in Scotland’s journey.”

Coverage of the conference on the BBC is sadly limited with only two slots allocated for broadcast.  For those who may be interested in watching the proceedings as the SNP gather for their first conference following the historic May election win the times are:

Slot 1. Saturday 14:35 BBC2.
Slot 2. Sunday 14:00 BBC Parliament.

Party Political Broadcast on Friday immediately after Reporting Scotland on BBC1.