JOHN Swinney has said the SNP will stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Waspi women to “get justice now” while out campaigning for the General Election.

The SNP leader was in Dumfries and Galloway, the seat held by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, as he told people that “votes for the SNP are the quickest way to get rid of Tory MPs”.

Addressing campaigners, the First Minister vowed to ensure justice for women born in the 1950s affected by increases to their retirement age.

We told in March how the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman had recommended compensation over injustices resulting from the decision to raise women’s retirement age from 60 to 65.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) say that millions suffered financially as a result as they were not given sufficient warning of the change.

Swinney said: “I see over in the corner here placards for the Waspi women. And the Waspi women summarise the injustice of the United Kingdom to women in this society.

“So, at the heart of the SNP’s commitments will be a determination to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Waspi women to get justice now.”

At the beginning of May, MSPs backed the Scottish Government in a call for “compensation in full” to be paid to women impacted by state pension inequality.

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Elsewhere in his speech, Swinney said: “We’ve got a fantastic opportunity in Scotland today to do something decisive to protect the people of Scotland.

“We’ve had a disastrous Conservative government that’s inflicted austerity, Brexit and the cost of living crisis on Scotland and the SNP are the challengers in every single Tory-held constituency in Scotland.

“So votes for the SNP are the quickest way to get rid of the Tory MPs and to get rid of the Tory government from Scotland.

“That’s the challenge we’ve got at the forthcoming Westminster election.”

He added “we’ve got to make sure we do everything we possibly can do” to help candidates as he spoke alongside Tracey Little – the party’s candidate in Dumfries and Galloway.

 The SNP’s Richard Arkless missed out on the seat last time, securing a little under 21,000 votes compared with Jack who picked up more than 22,600.

Swinney urged people to use their votes “swiftly and urgently on July 4 to defeat the Tories in Dumfries and Galloway”.