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Labour will help pick economy back up with election win, says Reeves

A Labour government would “pick (the economy) back up”, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said.

Ms Reeves is to campaign with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar on Tuesday during a visit to Edinburgh, where she will pledge to “unleash Scotland’s economic firepower”.

She will attend an event with the heads of financial services firms – a key sector in Scotland’s capital.

Ahead of the visit, she said: “Scotland’s financial services industry is one of the UK’s greatest assets, supporting thousands of jobs and billions of pounds investment to our shores.

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“That is why I was proud to launch our review of financial services in Edinburgh last year and why I can announce that we will deliver on it.

“The SNP in Holyrood and the Conservatives in Westminster have let Scotland’s economy down, so it falls to Labour to help pick it back up and deliver the change we need.

“I will unleash Scotland’s economic firepower to deliver jobs and growth because when Scotland succeeds, we all succeed.

“That’s the change we offer and it is the change we can deliver together if we are elected on July 4.”

Last year, Ms Reeves announced the party would launch a review of financial services as part of the drive to “restore growth to Britain”.

Mr Sarwar said: “Scotland is brimming with talent but 14 years of Tory chaos has hollowed out our economy and left us all poorer.

“A strong economy is the foundation of Labour’s plans to deliver the change that Scotland needs and these recommendations will help us deliver that.

“Labour will unlock the full potential of Scotland’s financial services industry in order to drive growth and create jobs.

“At this election, we can call time on Tory economic turmoil and decline by electing a Labour government relentlessly focused on delivering growth, jobs and prosperity.”

Scottish Tory finance spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “Labour’s plan to block all new oil and gas projects in the North Sea – which the SNP support – would wreak economic havoc across the North East and destroy tens of thousands of jobs.

“Labour’s pitch would have more credibility if they hadn’t voted for SNP tax rises which have made Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK and stunted growth.”

SNP economy spokesman and candidate for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire Drew Hendry said the “empty words” of the shadow chancellor would “ring hollow in the ears of Scotland’s financial services”.

“Such astonishing levels of hypocrisy from a party that is fully signed up to Brexit and Tory economic orthodoxy – the things damaging Scotland’s economy the most – cannot be trusted, and Scots know it,” he added.

“The only party being honest about this is the SNP, fighting against the Westminster system that inflicted a cost of living crisis and Liz Truss’ disastrous mini budget on Scotland.

“Only the SNP is putting the interests of Scotland’s economy first, and by voting SNP on July 4 can we build towards a future made in Scotland, for Scotland.”