Truss says its best to ignore 'attention seeker' Nicola Sturgeon over second independence referendum

Truss says its best to ignore 'attention seeker' Nicola Sturgeon over second independence referendum

PRIME MINISTER hopeful Liz Truss has said that it is best to ignore "attention seeker" Nicola Sturgeon in relation to a Scottish independence referendum.

Ms Truss criticised Scotland's first minister before she ruled out a referendum at an event in Exeter yesterday evening.

Talking to voters at the hustings event, Ms Truss said: "I really believe we're a family and we're better together."

Tory party members then cheered and applauded as she said: "I think the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her.

"She's an attention seeker, that's what she is.

"What we need to do is show the people of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales what we're delivering for them and making sure that all of our government policies apply right across the United Kingdom."

At the same event, Ms Truss described herself as "a child of the Union", having spent some of her youth living in Paisley.

Scotland's deputy first minister John Swinney said her comments were "completely and utterly unacceptable".

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said Scotland has been "ridden roughshod over" by the attitudes of the Tory party over the past few years.

"When people are saying to us we would like our two governments to work more closely together, this comment from Liz Truss demonstrates what we are up against," he said.

"I come across this frequently when I'm dealing with the UK government - a contempt for Scotland, a desire to belittle Scotland and not hear our voice.

"And if you don't believe me on this just listen to what Mark Drakeford, the Labour first minister of Wales, says - he says exactly the same thing about how Wales is treated."

However MSP Murdo Fraser of the Scottish Conservatives said he would ignore Mr Swinney's "manufactured outrage" on the issue.

"Liz Truss is far more in tune on Scottish opinion on this issue than Nicola Sturgeon. I think Liz Truss is absolutely right to say this is not the time for another referendum.

"There are other priorities the Scottish government should be focussing on - not least the NHS, the appalling rate of drugs deaths, trying to rebuild our economy post-Covid."

Nine Scottish Conservative MSPs, including Murdo Fraser, Rachael Hamilton, Liam Kerr and Oliver Mundell, declared their support for Liz Truss on Monday.

Meanwhile 10 Conservative MSPs declared their support for Rishi Sunak in a joint letter in the Telegraph on Tuesday. They are Donald Cameron, Liz Smith, Miles Briggs, John Lamont, Andrew Bowie, Jackson Carlaw, Maurice Golden, Jeremy Balfour, Dean Lockhart and Alexander Stewart.