SNP DEPUTY Westminster leader Mhairi Black has urged young voters in the forthcoming Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election to back her party with the message “Westminster has shafted you”.

Ahead of visiting the constituency today, the MP has penned an open letter in which she also urged young people to make sure they are not “locked out” of the forthcoming vote, which will be the first in Scotland to take place under controversial Tory voter ID rules.

She said the new law “disproportionately” affects their age group and was passed by Westminster to stop eligible voters from having their say at elections.

READ MORE: Katy Loudon urges postal vote ahead of Rutherglen by-election

Black also urged young people to vote SNP to back progressive policies and getting back into the EU, and not for a Labour party which is “lurching further to the right” under Keir Starmer and “abandoning” young people by U-turns such as dumping a commitment to abolish university tuition fees.

Recent research found the voter ID legislation, which require everyone to show a valid form of photo ID when going to the ballot box, meant that at least 14,000 people who tried to vote in the local elections in England were denied a ballot paper.

A further 4% of non-voters said they didn't attempt to vote at all because of the voter ID requirement, while a separate report found it led to racial and disability discrimination.

The letter from Black said the by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West on Thursday October 5 would be the “first in Scotland to which Westminster’s new restrictive voter ID laws apply”.

The National:

She wrote: “This law was passed by Westminster to stop eligible voters from having their say at elections, and it disproportionality affects voters like you.

“Don’t let Westminster lock you out from making your voice heard.

“Check you have an accepted form of voter ID online at, and if you don’t, make sure to register for a postal vote by 5pm today - Wednesday 20th September.

“You can also apply for a Voter’s Authority Certificate by 5pm on Wednesday 27th September.”

Black went to say: “Bluntly, Westminster has shafted young people across Scotland.

READ MORE: 14 candidates standing in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election

“The cost-of-living crisis has forced prices up and squeezed incomes – turning the goal of home ownership into a pipe dream for many young people who are blocked from getting on the property ladder.

“Then there’s Brexit.

"Brexit, supported by both the Labour party and the Tories, has ripped away so many opportunities from young people in Scotland.

“The Erasmus scheme once provided young Scots with the opportunity to live, work, study, and travel freely throughout Europe.

“These once in lifetime opportunities were snatched away from young people by Westminster while our colleges, universities and businesses suffered too.

“Labour’s own candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West doesn’t even support his own party’s position on Brexit. So why should you?”

Black said the SNP is the only party offering Scotland a route back into the EU through independence.

“The pro-Brexit Labour party is lurching further and further to the right under Sir Keir Starmer - who has abandoned young people by dumping a raft of policies, including the right to free higher education,” she added.

“In Scotland, the SNP has achieved so much for young people: scrapping tuition fees, free bus travel for under 22s, rent controls to give more rights to tenants and delivered real action on the climate crisis as one of the first nations to declare a global climate emergency.

“With independence we could do so much more.

“Young people deserve so much more than a narrow choice between red Tories and blue Tories.

“No wonder Westminster is blocking eligible voters from having their say.”