Legislation to introduce a “right to rehab” for those struggling with drink or drugs has been included in over a dozen new bills the Scottish Conservatives want to try to get through Holyrood.
Douglas Ross said his party wanted to introduce 16 Bills to the Scottish Parliament after what he said was their “best ever” Holyrood election result.
The Scottish Tory leader spoke out about the Tory plans as he insisted he wanted his party to become a “real alternative” to Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP.
Mr Ross has already insisted the Conservatives must be more than just the “party of no to indyref2” if they are to challenge for power at Holyrood.
A total of 31 Tory MSPs were voted in during last week’s Scottish Parliament elections, with the party equalling the record number of seats it won in 2016 under Ruth Davidson, who has now quit Holyrood for the House of Lords.
Mr Ross said, while the number of MSPs was the same as five years ago, the party had “won more votes than ever before and we were the only pro-UK party to improve our standing”.
But he insisted: “We are not resting for a second on what we have achieved.
“The hard work to become Scotland’s real alternative to the SNP begins now.”
Speaking as new MSPs started to arrive at Holyrood, the Scottish Conservative leader said his party had outlined plans for 16 bills during the election campaign and would “begin work to progress those through the Scottish Parliament over this term”.
Proposed bills include an Enterprise Bill, to create an economic development agency for every region of Scotland, a Bill to reform the justice system to “put victims first” and a “right to rehab”, which, if passed, would enshrine in law the right to access residential rehabilitation services.
Mr Ross stated: “We have to treat the economic crisis as the emergency it is, and that’s why we will seek to bring forward an Enterprise Bill as soon as possible to protect jobs and expand economic growth across Scotland.”
He added: “We can’t afford to wait any longer to start tackling Scotland’s drug deaths crisis.
“Our Right to Rehab would ensure everyone who needs treatment can get it.
“Our Victims Law is a detailed blueprint to overhaul and improve the justice system so it is stacked in favour of victims, not criminals.
“To bring in these bills and start rebuilding Scotland, we are willing to work with any party who puts Scotland’s recovery first.”
He added that his party was ready to “put in the hard graft to enact our policies and earn people’s trust as we start on the journey to building Scotland’s real alternative to the SNP”.
Mr Ross said: “The Scottish Conservatives have demonstrated that we are the strongest opposition party.
“We are starting work now on the road to becoming a strong alternative to the SNP.”