Introducing Scotland’s 56 newly elected Scottish National Party MPs earlier today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“I am absolutely delighted – bursting with pride even – to introduce to you for the very first time as one assembled group the fifty six men and women elected on Thursday to make Scotland’s voice heard.
“The people of Scotland have spoken and the people have placed their trust in the SNP to represent Scotland at Westminster as well as at Holyrood – and just as voters in almost every part of this nation of ours chose the SNP – our pledge is that these 56 SNP MPs will represent the interests of all of Scotland.
“We will represent – in Westminster just as we do in the Scottish parliament – people in every corner of our country. People who voted yes in the referendum as well as people who voted no. People who voted for us on Thursday and people who did not. Our job is to repay the trust you have shown in us – and I pledge today that is exactly what we will do.
“Scotland has given the SNP a mandate on a scale unprecedented for any political party- not just in Scotland but right across the UK. We will use that mandate to speak up for and protect the interests of Scotland. And let us be very clear the people of Scotland on Thursday voted for an SNP manifesto which had ending austerity as its number one priority – and that is the priority these men and women will now take to the very heart of the Westminster agenda.
“Now, after Thursday, and as I told the prime minister when I spoke to him yesterday it simply cannot be and it will not be business as usual when it comes to Westminster’s dealing with Scotland. Scotland this week spoke more loudly and more clearly than ever before – and my message today to Westminster is this : Scotland’s voice will be heard in Westminster now more loudly than it has ever been before .
“As we promised in the campaign, that strong voice will be a voice for more progressive politics. We will continue to seek to reach out to people of progressive opinion right across the UK so that we can put ending austerity, investment in our public services – like our precious National Health Service, investment in a stronger economy to get more young people into jobs. We will work with others to put those priorities right at the heart of Westminster.
“That is what the people in Scotland have tasked the SNP now with doing. I want today to thank everyone across this country who placed their trust in the SNP on Thursday. We will not let you down. That is our promise. To those who didn’t vote SNP we will work every single day to win your trust. That is our promise to you and our message to Westminster is simple – our message to the politicians of the other parties at Westminster is this one : no longer will Scotland be sidelined or ignored in Westminster – our voice will be heard – our interests will be protected – that is what voting SNP is going to deliver. Thank you all very much indeed.”