Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 08:59 UK

Full story: Scottish National Party manifesto

Alex Salmond

By Steven Brocklehurst

This event page, to cover the Scottish National Party's 2010 General Election manifesto, has now ended.

1113 And that's it from the news conference to launch the 2010 general election manifesto of the Scottish National Party.

1102 It was all over very quickly. Let's recap. SNP leader Alex Salmond says election campaign "moving in Scotland's direction". Balanced (or hung) parliament now a 'probability', he says. Voting for the SNP will be a vote for a hung parliament, according to Mr Salmond. Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have a shared "cuts agenda", deeper and tougher than those of Margaret Thatcher, Mr Salmond warns. SNP will oppose cuts. They want to axe the Trident nuclear deterrent. Scotland needs high-speed rail links, Mr Salmond says. SNP says building it should not start from London. SNP promises to oppose Labour's national insurance rise. SNP say they will guarantee free personal care for the elderly.

1059 Mr Salmond said Scotland could be a "green powerhouse" if the right decisions were made.

1056 Alex Salmond spent a large portion of his speech on the possibility for the SNP created by what he calls a "balanced" parliament. He asked: "What have large majorities ever done for this country?" He said Margaret Thatcher used her large majority to "lay social waste to the country". Tony Blair used his to take the UK into an "illegal war" in Iraq, Mr Salmond said.

1052 BBC Scotland political reporter Andrew Black says: "Salmond finishes his speech without taking questions from journalists. He's doing that separately."

1051 Raymond Buchanan says: "SNP leader Alex Salmond says cuts will be opposed whether they come from "tweedledum, tweedledee or tweedledem".

1050 Raymond Buchanan says: "SNP say they will guarantee free personal care for the elderly."

1048 BBC Scotland reporter Raymond Buchanan says: "SNP publish 31 page manifesto titled "Elect a local champion". It calls for SNP MPs to protect Scotland from future spending cuts, invest in Green jobs, create a fair fuel regulator and veterans card for former military personnel. They say if savings need to be made then the Trident replacement should be abandoned. SNP MPs also commit to open local offices, regular surgeries and be open and transparent on expenses.

1046 Mr Salmond says a high-speed rail line to Scotland should have been done years ago. He says let's start building the line in Scotland and move south.

1042 Alex Salmond says Labour and Tory parties are "very afraid" of a balanced parliament. Mr Salmond says a "balanced parliament is a people's parliament."

1041 SNP leader Alex Salmond says a "balanced parliament" has moved from a possibility to a probability.

1038 Ms Sturgeon said that, with the prospect of a hung parliament, the "opportunity for Scotland to wield real influence has never been greater".

1035 SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon says John Mason has made more impact in Glasgow East in two years than Labour did in decades.

1033 The SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson opens the launch by introducing John Mason, who won the Glasgow East by-election for the party in 2008.

1032 Andrew Black says: "Alex Salmond is saying the prospect of a hung parliament is now "increasingly likely".

1030 The SNP manifesto launch is due to get under way shortly.

tweet
1010 BBC Scotland's political team is on twitter - follow their correspondence on our dedicated election twitter page

1008 SNP manifesto launch at 1030 BST.

0959 Andrew Black says: "SNP serving bacon rolls at the manifesto launch - an old Lib Dem trick. But after sampling servings, just to be sure, I can confirm they are rather tasty."

0934 Mr Salmond will team up with his deputy Nicola Sturgeon and the party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson for the manifesto launch.

0928 Andrew Black says: "The SNP has picked a lovely, bright day to launch its manifesto. In fact, all the Scottish parties have done pretty well weather-wise on their main election events so far. The unpredictable Scottish weather - which can be more unforgiving than any cloud of volcanic ash - is known to have, literally, put a dampener on various election events here over the years."

BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor
0925 BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor says: "Core SNP demands - green jobs, accelerated capital spending, protect programmes such as free personal care, scrap Trident."

Andrew Black
0920 BBC Scotland political reporter Andrew Black says: "The Nationalists want the Scotland Office to be scrapped, which they say will save £8m and could pay for 280 teachers, 300 nurses or 250 police officers. And they say abolishing the House of Lords will free up £100m."

Andrew Black
0919 BBC Scotland political reporter Andrew Black says: "The document will also pledge to extend paternity leave and increase the minimum wage, in line with earnings. To tackle the spending deficit, and any cuts which may be passed north to Scotland, the SNP is also calling for the programme to replace nuclear weapons on the Clyde - "Son of Trident" as they call it - to be scrapped."

Andrew Black
0916 BBC Scotland political reporter Andrew Black says: "Amid gloomy predictions of forthcoming public spending cuts, the party's manifesto will contain commitments to guaranteeing Scotland's landmark policies on free personal care and concessionary travel for older people.

BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor
0911 BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor says: "The Scottish National Party is launching its manifesto today promising to secure concessions for Scotland in a hung Parliament. Their shopping list includes extra capital spending and extending high-speed rail to Scotland. Party leader Alex Salmond says that when the SNP is successful, London listens.

0907 SNP leader Alex Salmond retired from Westminster at the end of the last parliamentary session, after 23 years as an MP.

Andrew Black
0905 BBC Scotland political reporter Andrew Black says: "That's a pretty tall order, amid a potential squeeze with Labour and the Tories fighting for every last vote. But the SNP says this outcome, coupled with a hung parliament, would provide the SNP with a "balance of power" at Westminster. The Nationalists have also teamed up with Plaid Cymru to set out a joint platform of policies on which they would campaign.

0905 The SNP is hoping to return 20 MPs in the UK general election. They could hold a balance of power at Westminster on crucial Scottish issues.

0904 The Nationalists won six seats in the 2005 UK general election and a further one in the Glasgow East by-election.

0902 The SNP will call for voters to elect SNP "champions" at Westminster to deliver what they describe as a "strong Scottish voice" on reserved issues of importance to Scotland.

0900 Hello, and welcome to our live coverage of the Scottish National Party manifesto launch - which is due to take place at about 1030 BST in the Institution of Engineering and Technology building in Glasgow's St Enoch Square.



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