SNP: We Want to Build ‘Good Working Relationship’ With English Local Press

SNP leader in Westminster  Angus Robertson has said he wants to build “a good working relationship” with English local press as the party seeks to expand its influence beyond Scottish-only issues.

On the day of the vote on Sunday trading vote, Mr Robertson addressed regional press political correspondents at a Newspaper Conference breakfast briefing chaired by Archant group political editor Annabelle Dickson.   

Distinguishing between Scottish titles and English regional titles in the Conference, Mr Robertson said the SNP wanted to build “a good working relationship” with English regional titles in addition to its relationship with Scottish newspapers. 

“I know there’s a growing relevance of what we might have to say in a way that perhaps might not have been thought about,” Mr Robertson said, citing Sunday trading as an example of an issue in which the SNP would not necessarily be expected by English regional newspaper readers to engage with. 

“It just goes to show that your readers are also hearing what we have to say and many like what we’re saying, and some don’t, and because of the Government’s precarious position, and today’s an example of this, that they only have formally a majority of 12.  

“If there’s ever a rebellion or a split of opinion in parties it means that the SNP votes at Westminster have a direct impact; an impact if we vote, an impact if we don’t vote, and so people have to listen to what we have to say, both in Government and in Parliament”

In the wide ranging interview, Mr Robertson discussed issues such as Trident, the upcoming EU membership referendum, the role of the SNP in the UK parliament, and his penchant for silk ties. The session was covered by titles including the Plymouth Herald, Yorkshire Post and Press and Journal.    

The Newspaper Conference is made of Westminster-based regional press political journalists and the News Media Association provides a secretariat for it.