Labour pledge to end homelessness in Scotland ‘once and for all’

Labour will pledge to build 120,000 new council and socially rented homes in Scotland over a decade. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

A Labour government would spend £10 billion building 120,000 new council and socially rented homes over a decade, Richard Leonard will pledge.

The Scottish Labour leader will formally launch his party’s campaign north of the border for the Westminster election with the commitment.

He will claim the housebuilding proposals – to be funded from Labour’s promised National Transformation Fund – will help end homelessness “once and for all”.

Speaking ahead of Labour’s Scottish campaign launch in Glasgow, Mr Leonard said: “A UK Labour government would invest £70 billion into Scotland’s public services and economy.

“And today I can announce that at the very heart of that, £10 billion will be invested from Labour’s new National Transformation Fund to build 120,000 council and social homes in Scotland over the next 10 years.

“Labour will tackle Scotland’s housing crisis, we will provide a home for everyone – and we will end homelessness once and for all in Scotland.”

The housebuilding programme would generate almost 50,000 jobs, he added, as he insisted Labour is the only alternative to having Boris Johnson back in Downing Street.

“Labour is the only alternative government to a Boris Johnson government,” the Scottish Labour leader said.

“And Scotland has the power to decide if Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister. And the only way to get a Labour government is to elect Labour MPs from Scotland. There is no short cut through the SNP.”

He will launch Labour’s Scottish election campaign as First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon again urges Scots to vote for her party to “escape Brexit”.

She is sending an open letter to Remain voters, urging them to back the SNP to help evict Mr Johnson and his Conservative Party from government.

Ms Sturgeon, who will hit the campaign trail in the Ochil and South Perthshire constituency, where former SNP MP John Nicolson is running, will say: “We must come together in this election and make Scotland’s voice heard – and the best way to do that is to vote SNP.

“In every seat in Scotland held by the Tories, it is the SNP who is in second place – so only the SNP can stop the Tories and deprive them of a majority.

“So my message to you is this: don’t sit back and let the Tories decide your future for you – stand up and be counted. Vote SNP on December 12 to escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”

Nicola Sturgeon Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

Elsewhere on the campaign trail Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will set out how the party would use money from the £50 billion boost it claims the UK economy would receive if the country stays in the European Union to invest in mental health services.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw will be campaigning in Peebles, alongside former Scottish Secretary David Mundell, the Tory candidate in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.