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Tommy Sheridan: I am backing the SNP with my constituency vote

The socialist politician said that Solidarity is simply too small to stand in the constituencies.

By STV News

Published 12 Apr 2016.

Solidarity party leader Tommy Sheridan has pledged to give his constituency vote to the SNP at May's Holyrood election.

The socialist politician told STV's political editor Bernard Ponsonby that he would back the SNP despite them not being a socialist party. Sheridan believes that Westminster is a "monster" which Scotland must break free from.

Sheridan said: "Of course they are not a socialist party but they are the biggest pro-independence party we have in Scotland.

"We in Solidarity believe that breaking away from Westminster is the priority for the working class of Scotland. We have to get rid of Westminster. We have to break away from that monster that is imposing austerity cut after cut after cut while the leaders of Westminster are squirrelling away their money in tax heavens.

"We have got to say loud and clear: Westminster is finished. The vote for the SNP is to have an independent government in Holyrood however the Yes family in Scotland have got to say to themselves, Bernard, the second vote will not count if you give it to the SNP. Give it to another pro-independence party like Solidarity."

He explained that his party are not standing in constituencies as "they are simply not big enough" and would "divide the yes vote".

The left-wing leader was also relaxed about people voting for another small pro-independence party.

Sheridan said: "The second vote for the SNP is wasted. All it will do is help the unionist parties.

"So I have to say this point I am arguing - please Yes Family give us your second vote, give Solidarity your second vote. See if you aren't going to vote Solidarity, you don't like Tommy Sheridan, you don't like Solidarity, don't waste your waste it by giving it to the SNP give it to one of the other pro-independence parties."

Sheridan also described election as "a bit like a menu, isn't it? You go in to the restaurant and you get lots of foods that you might like but you have got to choose one".

Solidarity is standing in every region in the Holyrood election.

Election Face to Face features party leaders in the Holyrood elections being interviewed by STV News Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby:

It is screened on STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh at 8.30pm and then on Scotland Tonight on STV at 10.30pm.