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Scottish Labour 'confident' they can turn polls around

Polls continue to show the SNP holding a large lead in Scotland but the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy believes things will change.

"This campaign has only really just got under way, we're only 24 hours or so into it. There are weeks to go and most people are now just starting to think about it," Murphy said during a visit to an Edinburgh cafe.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy believes things will change. Credit: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire

"I'm confident we will turn these polls round, there's a lot of hard work involved, but we've got a plan to end Tory austerity, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts and increase the national minimum wage," he said.

"I think not only will Labour's policies increase opinion poll ratings, it's also fact that only Labour is big enough and strong enough to beat the Tories."

Scottish Labour makes food banks pledge

Scottish Labour has unveiled a plan to end the need for food banks, as figures show more than 60 children a day are relying on such hand-outs.

Party leader Jim Murphy has made an election pledge to establish a £175 million anti-poverty fund in Scotland as he claimed Labour is "the only party of social justice".

Scottish Labour hopes to end the need for food banks. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Speaking ahead of a visit to an Edinburgh food bank, Murphy said: "Nothing makes me angrier about the Tory government and its austerity policies, than the sight of children queuing for food hand-outs.

"If it was not for the generosity of their fellow Scots, tens of thousands of people, including thousands of children, would be going hungry tonight."


Murphy: Sturgeon 'friendship' claim doesn't fool anyone

Jim Murphy (left) with Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy claims "no-one will be fooled" by Nicola Sturgeon's claim her party will help "shake-up" Westminster to the benefit of the rest of the UK.

In a response to the SNP leader's party conference speech, Murphy added that Sturgeon's plans to fight austerity ignored "the austerity max that would be inflicted on Scotland" if the country achieved her party's aim of fiscal independence.

And after Sturgeon urged Labour to "join forces" with the SNP to keep the Conservatives out of power after the General Election, Murphy responded: “Despite all the cheering and backslapping the facts remain only Labour or the Tories can form the next UK government.

"Any seat taken from Labour by the SNP or anyone else simply helps David Cameron to stay in power."

'Join forces' to unseat Tories,' Sturgeon urges Labour

Nicola Sturgeon has made a direct appeal to Labour to "join forces with us" in a bid to keep the Conservatives out of government after the General Election.

Speaking at her party's Spring conference, Sturgeon said: "If there is a hung Parliament, SNP MPs will vote to stop a Tory Government even getting off the ground.

"I call on Labour, today, to match that pledge - to make clear that if Labour and the SNP combined have more seats than the Tories, they will join forces with us in a vote of confidence to lock David Cameron out of Downing Street," she said.

After huge cheers from the party's amassed membership, Sturgeon added: "If Labour fails to make that commitment, the only conclusion people will draw is that Labour would rather have the Tories back in power than work with the SNP."

Sturgeon vows SNP will help 'shake up' Westminster

Nicola Sturgeon has assured the rest of the UK that the Scottish National Party will help "shake up" the political system.

In a speech to the party's Spring conference, Sturgeon said that even though her party still sought independence from the UK, she also aimed to help seize power back from Westminster.

She added that her party would "demand an alternative to slash and burn austerity", but hinted that her party could still wield power in a minority-led House of Commons.

It was as a minority government that we restored free education, abolished prescription charges and froze the council tax.

So we can - and we will - use that experience in a minority led House of Commons to get good things done there too.

– Nicola Sturgeon, SNP leader


Five hurt after coach plunges down steep embankment

Five people are in hospital after a coach carrying dozens of people overturned and plunged down an embankment in Scotland.

The coach crashed on the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll, Scotland Credit: STV News/Deece

The passenger coach was travelling along the A83 in Argyll when it crashed near the Rest and Be Thankful beauty spot.

According to STV News, a Royal Navy helicopter transported five people to hospital in Glasgow. A total of 30 people are understood to have been on the coach at the time of the crash.

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