Ukrainians fly back to get teeth fixed says Lib Dems

Ukrainians fly back to get teeth fixed says Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats Aim to Become Third Largest Party in Commons, Says Leader as they tell of Ukrainians flying back to get teeth fixed


The Liberal Democrats could become the third largest party in the House of Commons after the upcoming General Election, overtaking the Scottish National Party (SNP), according to party leader Sir Ed Davey.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish Lib Dems’ election campaign launch, Sir Ed expressed confidence that there could be “more liberals than nationalists” in the next parliament.

Despite his optimism, polling for the Lib Dems has remained relatively stable in recent years across both Scotland and the UK. The party has struggled to move beyond fourth position since the SNP's sweeping 56-seat victory in 2015 and the Lib Dems' decline following their coalition government experience.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, Sir Ed highlighted four key constituencies in Scotland that the Lib Dems are targeting, all currently held by SNP MPs. These include Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire—previously represented by former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy before his loss to retiring SNP figure Ian Blackford—and Mid Dunbartonshire, which Jo Swinson lost to the SNP's Amy Callaghan in 2019.

“We are a big part of the change that’s happening,” Sir Ed said. “There is a massive desire to get rid of the Conservatives in Westminster and also, actually, to get rid of the SNP. I think we have a real chance, when we get to July 5 – the day after polling day – there will be more liberals than nationalists in the next parliament. I think the Liberal Democrats can be the third party in UK politics again.”

Sir Ed emphasized that seats won by the party would have “fantastic local champions” who would “make such a difference” at Westminster, potentially leading to increased funding for the health service.

On Monday, the party will launch its Scottish general election campaign, with Sir Ed joining Scottish party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton. The campaign will focus on the provision of NHS dentistry—a devolved matter—criticizing both the Scottish and UK governments for neglecting the service.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr. Cole-Hamilton highlighted the crisis in NHS dental care: “People are resorting to DIY dentistry and buying tools off Amazon to do the job themselves because they can’t get an NHS dentist. Some Ukrainians have even traveled back to Kyiv for dental care because the air-raid sirens, drone strikes, and cruise missiles are less daunting than the waits in Scotland’s NHS.”

He further criticized the SNP: “The SNP promised to scrap dental charges, but instead they have introduced new charges and doubled the price of some procedures. Dentists are being driven away from the NHS because working with this SNP government is harder than pulling teeth.”

As the election approaches, the Liberal Democrats are positioning themselves as a pivotal force for change, aiming to reclaim their status as a major party in UK politics.

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