Nicola Sturgeon accuses Labour of copying SNP's polices

She added: "So I'll challenge her (May) today, change your mind, come and join us on Thursday - I'd say the same to Jeremy Corbyn - and let's have a proper debate".

The First Minister also defended her decision to pursue a second independence referendum earlier this and said students concerned about independence should still vote for the SNP.

The First Minister's proposals to keep Scotland in the single market after Brexit were rejected out of hand by the UK Government in December but Ms Sturgeon believes victory at the polls will give a mandate to her plans.

"It may be that we have a phased approach to that by necessity" - SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon on an independent Scotland's approach to becoming a full European Union (EU) member.

Secondly, the Tories have said they are going to unseat me at the previous nine elections and have failed nine times.

"The Erasmus programme which has grown and grown fantastically since I did it is something that I think has a real tangible benefit".

"Ironically, many of our policies were implemented in the face of fierce opposition from the Labour party in Scotland".

He is expected to say: "It is appalling to learn that children and young people are still waiting nearly two years for the mental health treatment they need".

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She said the Conservatives, "who for years have mounted ideological attacks on policies as diverse as free prescriptions and council house building have now - albeit belatedly and with little credibility - decided that they are both a good thing".

In response, Mike Weir, SNP candidate for re-election as an MP for Angus, said: "The position of the Conservatives is one of breath-taking hypocrisy".

She will visit Ibrox Parish Church, Glasgow South West Foodbank to highlight Labour analysis of Trussell Trust figures that show 488,766 three-day emergency food parcels were handed out under the SNP and Tories.

"The fact is that they have had the chance to back the SNP's progressive policies - but instead they opposed them tooth and nail".

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said people were "getting exhausted of the SNP and all their promises".

With the General Election approaching, Ms Sturgeon warned the United Kingdom is facing "the prospect of another Tory government, imposing more cuts, attacking the vulnerable, putting pensions at risk and imposing an extreme Brexit deal that will put jobs at risk".

"My proposition is just that when we get to the end of the Brexit process, and when we know what the terms of Brexit are, Scotland should have a choice, and that is my simple argument", she said.

"My message on this election on Brexit is whether you voted leave or remain, whether you were yes or no in 2014, if you vote SNP you are strengthening my hand to make sure that Scotland's voice is heard in these negotiations and that we don't sacrifice jobs and our economy".

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