THE local elections are a chance to “send a message to Boris Johnson that Scotland has had enough”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister’s comments come as she launches her party’s campaign for the council votes to be held across Scotland in May.

The SNP leader said that the “Tory-made cost-of-living crisis” would be front and centre of her party’s election campaign.

She pledged that any SNP councillors elected would “prioritise the cost-of-living crisis in Scotland’s council chambers”.

Sturgeon said: “These elections come at a time when families are facing a Tory-made cost-of-living crisis, unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. People are struggling to pay for their shopping and are terrified to open their bills.

“The SNP Scottish Government is already doing what we can to ease the burden on hard-pressed families and, if elected, SNP councillors will prioritise the cost-of-living crisis in Scotland’s council chambers – but we cannot let the Tories away with disgraceful inaction while households are forced into poverty.

“Cast your vote for SNP councillors who’ll work tirelessly for local communities and local services. Cast a verdict on Tory policies that leave hundreds of thousands of Scots struggling with their daily lives. And cast your vote to send a message to Boris Johnson that Scotland has had enough of his incompetent, sleaze-ridden government.

“May 5th is Scotland’s opportunity to make our voice heard. Vote SNP.”

Her party pointed to measures such as the Scottish Child Payment and the 6% rise to eight Scottish-issued benefits to show they are tackling the cost of living crisis.

The SNP further claimed that the average Scottish council tax bill was around £600 lower than in England.

Nicola Sturgeon will launch the SNP's local election campaign. Photo: PA

The First Minister’s comments come after the launch of Scottish Labour’s council election campaign, which party leader Anas Sarwar (above) also said would focus on the cost-of-living crisis.

The Scottish Tories launched their campaign in late March, with party leader Douglas Ross claiming the election presented “a clear choice between Nicola Sturgeon’s candidates and more years of distraction – or Scottish Conservative candidates to deliver local action on local issues”.

Recent polling has suggested Scottish Labour could overtake the Scottish Conservatives in the local council elections, with a survey on Monday placing some 23% – a swing of plus three from 2017's ballot – of respondents intending to vote for Sarwar's party as a first preference, which would see it in second place.

The Survation poll, for Ballot Box Scotland, found 44% of those asked intend to vote for the SNP – a plus-12 swing.