Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 13:46 UK

Hague predicts Tory Scottish election breakthrough

William Hague, campaigning
William Hague said the Conservative Party needed a strong Scottish voice

William Hague has said the Conservatives are on the verge of an election breakthrough in Scotland, despite holding only one seat.

The shadow foreign secretary's claim came as he arrived by helicopter for a whistle-stop tour of the party's 11 Westminster target seats.

He said a Tory majority after 6 May needed a "strong Scottish voice".

Mr Hague also called on the Lib Dems to "pipe down" on the issue of plans for VAT and tax breaks.

Campaigning with Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie, Mr Hague said: "The only way to bring about change at Westminster is to have Scottish Conservatives elected, there's no other way to do it.

HAGUE'S CONSTITUENCY TOUR
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
Edinburgh
Angus
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
Perth and North Perthshire
Stirling
Argyll and Bute
East Renfrewshire
Dumfries

"We need to make sure there's a strong Scottish voice within a Conservative majority. That's a very important component so government can really represent all parts of the UK."

Mr Hague, who arrived by helicopter at the Royal Highland Centre near Edinburgh Airport, said the Conservatives had shown what they could do as a minority party at Holyrood, adding: "I believe we're on the verge of an important breakthrough for the Scottish Conservative Party."

Turning to his opponents, the former UK Conservative leader said his party had no plans to raise VAT, adding: "I think the Liberal Democrats can pipe down about this now."

And Mr Hague said there was "no doubt" the Tories could fund tax cuts by cutting waste, adding: "Alistair Darling says there's £11bn of waste.

"In what sort of government do they say, 'there's all that waste but we're not going to do anything about it?'"



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