Sturgeon: May election move 'huge miscalculation'

Ruth Davidson during First Minister's Questions

May unexpectedly announced the early election earlier in a statement outside her Downing Street office in London.

"We can't afford for our councils to turn into another arm of the SNP government in Edinburgh and neither do we want to turn our town halls over to the Tories", she said.

Writing in the Telegraph, the Scottish Tory leader predicted the Nationalists will "struggle" to repeat their 2015 achievement of winning 56 out of 59 Scottish seats and said "plenty of SNP MPs will now be looking over their shoulder".

Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale has revealed her plans to chair a general election meeting later today, and said her party would "work tirelessly" to elect a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Sturgeon has called for an independence vote in late 2018 or early 2019, before Brexit takes effect, but May has said it was not the right time to revisit the independence issue.

Sturgeon added: "It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories' narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future".

The snap election is a major gamble for the Tories.

Of course, if the Tories do want Scotland to take on the responsibility then let's see all social security powers, and all of the funding used to pay for it, transferred to the Scottish Parliament - that way we can deliver a fair and balanced social security system across the board instead of just trying to clear up the mess.

While south of the border the Conservatives should be able to increase their majority against a limping Labour party, in Scotland the strength of the SNP vote shows no sign of shifting.

"I think it's important that we have this election now, I think it can strengthen the hand of the Government in our negotiations to make Brexit a success and also enable us to set out our plan for a stronger Britain - taking Britain forward beyond Brexit".

She stated: "At the last election in 2015 we said this would be a clear choice between a destructive Tory Party and a better future with Labour".

"We know the SNP will use this campaign to try and manufacture a case for separation".

Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson said she "very much welcomes" the announcement, saying the Scottish Conservatives are "ready for a campaign". The solution is for the Tories to scrap the rape clause and the two child policy - not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK.

Mr Rennie continued: "Our optimistic agenda is pro-UK, pro-EU and progressive".

He said: "At this election we will stand proud for a United Kingdom within the European single market".

"We will avoid a disastrous hard Brexit and keep Britain united".

That the UK's financial health and the future of the City are again being used as the subject of a party political gamble by a Tory politician - one that campaigned in favour of staying in the European Union, no less - shows what little regard the country's government holds for either.

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