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'No more Project Fear': Tories launch new pro-UK campaign

The campaign will be based across the UK and seek to create a positive case for the Union.

By STV News

Published 13 Apr 2016.

A new UK-wide campaign for the Union will be launched, the Scottish Conservative leader has said.

Speaking at her party's manifesto launch Ruth Davidson stated that she will be initiating a new pro-Union campaign to combat Nicola Sturgeon's promised summer campaign to build support for independence. Davidson said however that the new pro-Union campaign must be "far, far better" than the 2014 No campaign.

Davidson said: "To ensure that, if the SNP carries out its threat to launch its summer initiative for independence, then the clear pro-UK case is made as well. And it's a case that must be made far, far better.

"Too often over recent years, our case for the union has simply been a matter of picking at the flaws of independence. Of dissecting the numbers, rubbishing the projections or disputing proposals. Easy - but ultimately not enough

"Too often we have failed to make the case for why our family of nations works. And the legacy from the referendum is that we on the pro-UK side have allowed 'No thanks' to be seen as a constant negative".

When asked to explain how the new campaign would look Davidson promised "no more Project Fear" and break from the 2014 divides.

Davidson said: "Our country needs to more on from the Better Together - Yes Scotland divide of the past. We can't win a continuing case for a United Kingdom by only pointing to the negatives of independence or showing where the white paper didn't work. What I am saying is no more Project Fear".

Davidson was also clear that she is campaigning to become the official opposition and has no hopes of winning the election.

She said: "Today we do something different, strip back the conventions and speak directly to people directly people who want to know what we're about. Don't get me wrong. I would love to be First Minister on May 6.

"And I could run through the pretence - but I'd rather be straight with the people. Folk aren't daft. They know the likelihood of me moving to Bute House next month is next to nil.

"They also know that, right now, the SNP are miles ahead in every poll you care to mention, with Labour heading for their worst ever Holyrood result a mile behind. So today, I'm not pretending. While I am fighting for every single vote, I am clear about the job I am applying for. The role that needs filled.

"As it will state on the ballot paper on May 5, I seek to lead a strong opposition to the SNP".

The party has launched a ten point programme for opposition.

In opposition the party will push the next Scottish Government, which it believes will be the SNP, to help build 100,000 new homes - with half of them being 'affordable homes'.

The properties will be a mixture of private and social sector homes.

However, the Scottish Conservatives' manifesto has pledged "not to extend the Right-to-Buy" to housing association properties.

Ruth Davidson also reaffirmed her party's opposition to the named person scheme which will be rolled out by the Scottish Government in August.

Davidson called the scheme "unworkable" and instead she would replace it with a "crisis family fund" which will divert money to "the most vulnerable and chaotic families". The manifesto states that government "support for vulnerable children should be more focussed".