I ATTENDED the SNP Conference in Aberdeen earlier this week and want to highlight some key points from First Minister Humza Yousaf’s speech on Tuesday.

Before the FM outlined what the SNP has delivered, and what he wants to do going forward he spoke about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. It’s absolutely right the that the world condemns the actions of Hamas, but the collective punishment of those living in Gaza is abhorrent.

Telling 1.1 million people to leave the north of the Gaza Strip to move south is awful to contemplate.

To give you an indication, the Gaza Strip is only 365km2. Inverclyde and Renfrewshire combined is bigger at 422km2. This gives you an indication of how small but densely populated the Gaza Strip is.

I support the FM’s calls for the creation of both a humanitarian corridor and a refugee resettlement scheme for those in Gaza.

The FM went on to lament how the UK is meant to be a rich country, yet too many are struggling, no matter how hard they work. 

If my party want to continue being trusted by the people of Scotland – and if we want to take them with us on the journey to independence – then I know we need to prove we are listening.

The SNP in government have brought our rail service into public ownership and scrapped peak time fares; abolished prescription charges and ensured our NHS staff are the best paid in the UK, and invested in our schools, with more teachers and higher spending per pupil than anywhere in the UK.

We’re also helping families with increased childcare provision, a rent freeze, free bus travel for young people, and game-changing policies like the Scottish Child Payment.

The First Minister announced that the Scottish Government will deliver: a council tax freeze; £300m extra funding to cut waiting lists in our NHS; £500m investment to anchor a new offshore wind supply chain here in Scotland; a new £500,000 fund to support women fleeing domestic abuse, and increased investment in Scotland’s arts and culture.

The most significant announcement was that by the end of this parliament, the SNP Government will go directly to the international bond market for the first time in our own right. This will enable investment in infrastructure projects. This will also help demonstrate the credibility to international markets that we will need when we become an independent country. 

So, remember that while there will be no more devolution under Labour and the Conservatives continue to preside over a cost-of-living-crisis, started by Labour, the SNP is the only party offering hope and a way out of the Westminster mess.