The new leader of the Liberal Democrats has insisted his party is “very optimistic” concerning the Scottish elections in May, regardless of poor latest outcomes.
In his first official go to to Scotland, Sir Ed Davey admitted the party had “misplaced its method” however stated it may regain the trust of voters.
Sir Ed grew to become the party’s third leader in 14 months when he succeeded Jo Swinson in August.
He is presently on a “listening tour” of the UK.
Speaking on a go to to Fife Zoo, Sir Ed stated his party may succeed by specializing in individuals’s considerations concerning the financial and well being affect of the pandemic fairly than “distractions” reminiscent of independence and Brexit.
Sir Ed stated: “The listening tour, which I’ll be doing for months and months, is to interact with individuals, discover out what’s on their minds, what are their fears and issues in the mean time? What are their hopes and goals?”
He added: “At our greatest, we’ve been on individuals’s facet, individuals have regarded up to us and revered us. But they clearly do not in the mean time.
“It’s my job to flip that round and I’m practical sufficient to know that is a troublesome job however I’m up for it.”
The MP for Kingston and Surbiton repeated the party’s long-standing opposition to Scottish independence however rejected the suggestion that the Liberal Democrats may break up the unionist vote in May.
He stated his party was “most likely the one party who could make important beneficial properties in opposition to the SNP in Holyrood” and would marketing campaign on the idea of jobs, well being and the economic system.
He stated the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, had not dealt in “partisan, Punch and Judy-politics” and advised the coronavirus pandemic had modified politics within the UK.
Sir Ed additionally stated Liberal Democrat MSPs wouldn’t vote in favour of a second Scottish independence referendum if the SNP get a majority in subsequent 12 months’s election.
He criticised the coronavirus testing system in Scotland and England, saying it has been “an absolute catastrophe.”
He added: “The testing system is being poorly run, it has been poorly designed.
“We’re by no means going to get out economic system and our society again on observe until this authorities, all governments, get a grip on testing.”
In specific, he criticised all governments within the UK for ignoring care houses, saying his party would marketing campaign for assist for the sector.
‘No good time to break the regulation’
The Liberal Democrat leader stated the UK authorities’s Internal Market Bill, which handed its first hurdle within the Commons earlier within the week, “breaks worldwide regulation.”
He added: “There isn’t any good time to break the regulation. This is the worst potential time.”
The Bill has been criticised for creating the chance that UK minsters may change the Brexit withdrawal settlement.
The Scottish authorities has additionally warned it might be used to take powers away from Holyrood.
Sir Ed stated: “That undermines the negotiation place, for my part. But it additionally undermines our fame the world over.”