NICOLA Sturgeon has insisted the SNP will be a “strong, progressive” influence on a Labour government after the election.

The First Minister was campaigning alongside Pete Wishart, in the super-marginal Perth and North Perthshire constituency yesterday.

The SNP veteran is defending a majority of just 21.

Sturgeon was asked about concerns from the Scottish Jewish community about the SNP propping up Jeremy Corbyn.

The First Minister told the Guardian: “My position is clear. We take action, as we did last week with a candidate where there is a need to do that. I am not responsible for Jeremy Corbyn’s actions or lack of action, but my position on antisemitism is clear and I think for people who are worried about Corbyn on any issue, far better to have strong, progressive SNP influence on a Labour government, if there is to be a Labour government after this election, than not.”

The SNP chief heads to Midlothian today, where ex-MP Owen Thompson is hoping to win back the seat from Labour’s Danielle Rowley. She beat him in 2017, with a majority of 885.

In a speech, Sturgeon is expected to say that only a vote for the SNP is a vote to end Tory austerity.

She is expected to tell supporters: “Years of successive cuts from the Tories have stifled growth in our economy, threatened our public services and pushed the most vulnerable into poverty.

"The botched rollout of Universal Credit has caused untold misery in communities in places like Midlothian - and across Scotland.

Westminster’s austerity agenda has failed Scotland on every measure – and if Boris Johnson is returned to Downing Street that is only set to get worse. Meanwhile in Scotland, the SNP government has built a social security system based on dignity, care and respect.

“The SNP is committed to reducing poverty and inequality – and to putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands. That will allow us to build a social security system with fairness at its heart, and is key to achieving the society we all want to see.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail today:

Scottish Tory MSPs Miles Briggs and Annie Wells will be unveiling a “No2Indyref2” Advent Calendar outside the Scottish Parliament. It’s not clear how many doors will be on the calendar and if there’ll be chocolate behind any of the doors, or just pictures of Jackson Carlaw saying, “no”.

Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie will join a UCU picket line at Strathclyde University to “stand in solidarity with those taking part in the strike.”

Yesterday Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard declined an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme as it was being broadcast from Edinburgh University, and would mean crossing a picket line.

Today he’ll be talking to NHS staff in Glasgow about the pressures facing the health service, while Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson will be hosting a rally in Edinburgh.