‘We must stop them’ Rishi blasts ‘dangerously complacent’ Truss tactics on Sturgeon threat

The former Chancellor and Foreign Secretary are the last two candidates in the race to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. The final ballot, in which all Conservative Party members will be eligible to vote, will take place from July 22 to September 2, with the results expected to be announced on September 5.

In Tory Leadership hustings on Friday, Mr Sunak ruled out granting a fresh referendum over Scottish independence, instead claiming he would “lead the most active UK government in Scotland for decades”.

Attacking Ms Sturgeon’s calls for a second referendum, and a jab at Ms Truss, the Richmond MP said: “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP pose an existential threat to our cherished Union. Arguing that we should ignore them is dangerously complacent.

“We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend they aren’t there – we need to stop them in their tracks.

“And that’s exactly what I would do as Prime Minister – holding the SNP to account for its failings and personally ensuring that the UK Government has a laser focus on delivering for every part of our United Kingdom.”

Mr Sunak’s campaign team said he ensured £41 billion per year for Scotland as Chancellor, and protected around a million Scottish jobs during the Covid pandemic.

It comes after Ms Truss said on Monday that she would “ignore” the Scottish First Minister, and called her an “attention seeker”.

Ms Truss told host Seb Payne: “I feel like I’m a child of the union, I really believe we’re a family and we’re better together and 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.”

Former Tory MP Gavin Barwell, who served as Theresa May’s chief of staff during her time in No 10, lambasted the foreign secretary’s comments

He posted on Twitter: “You can’t ignore the fact that about half of those who voted in last year’s Scottish Parliament elections supported parties who back independence. Unionists need a plan to change some of their minds, rather than sticking our fingers in our ears and saying ‘We can’t hear you'”.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney also said Ms Truss’ attack on Ms Sturgeon from someone hoping to be the next occupant of No 10 is “completely and utterly unacceptable”.

He said: “People in Scotland, whatever their politics, will be absolutely horrified by the obnoxious remarks that Liz Truss has made.”

Mr Swinney told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “Nicola Sturgeon has far more democratic legitimacy than Liz Truss is going to have if she becomes the prime minister, and I think Liz Truss has absolutely no right or foundation to make these remarks.”

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Kirsten Oswald, the SNP deputy leader at Westminster, also fumed: “The likely next Prime Minister has made crystal clear the partnership of equals Scotland was promised in 2014 was a sham.

“Firing cheap shots to grab headlines is straight out of the Trump playbook but reveals as never before the contempt Westminster has for the democratic choices people in Scotland make and the elected Scottish Government.

“We’ve already seen with Brexit that the Tories and Labour want to ignore Scotland’s government and the wishes of the Scottish people and exert even more control from Westminster.

“But Truss’s cack-handed comments are also a massive blunder on her part because they expose the ugly reality of Tory attitudes to Scotland and will only strengthen support for independence.”

It also comes as polls show Mr Sunak is trailing behind Ms Truss in the campaign.

A YouGov/Times poll of party members suggested Ms Truss had opened up a 34-point lead over Mr Sunak, with the former Chancellor on 26 percent and the foreign secretary on 60 percent.

A ConservativeHome survey of members published on Wednesday suggested Ms Truss was 32 points ahead.

It also saw Mr Sunak on 26 percent, while Ms Truss was on 58 percent.

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Serbia threatens to send more troops to Kosovo as war of words escalates in Balkans
Anger flared when Kosovo said it would oblige Serbs living in the north, who are backed by Belgrade which does…
‘Talking a good game but you’ve lost 100,000 members!’ Labour MP slammed over RMT support
Sky News host Niall Paterson undermined shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson’s claims that the Labour Party was thriving in the…
  • 14 минут назад 18.08.2022Politics
    Serbia threatens to send more troops to Kosovo as war of words escalates in Balkans

    Anger flared when Kosovo said it would oblige Serbs living in the north, who are backed by Belgrade which does not recognise the country, to start using car licence plates issued in its capital, Pristina.

    The situation calmed after Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti, under US and European Union pressure, agreed to postpone the number plates rule until September 1 and NATO peacekeepers oversaw the removal of roadblocks set up by Serbs.

    However, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a NATO news conference that EU-facilitated talks with Mr Kurti today will be difficult because the two sides disagree on almost everything.

    NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that the alliance will increase its peacekeeping force in Kosovo if there is an escalation of tensions.

    He said: “We have now a significant mission, a military presence in Kosovo close to 4,000 troops.

    “If needed, we will move forces, deploy them where needed and increase our presence. We have already increased the presence in the north. We are ready to do more.”

    Mr Kurti, who met Mr Stoltenberg later, underlined Kosovo’s resolve to become a NATO member.

    “The threats, risks and challenges that NATO faces in the current security environment are felt by our country as well,” he told reporters, linking the problems to Russia’s influence.

    “Kosovo’s institutions and citizens in the current situation have reason to be vigilant about (the) destructive approach of our northern neighbour towards Kosovo and the region in general under Russia’s detrimental agenda for Europe and the Balkans.”

    Kosovo won independence from Serbia in 2008, almost a decade after a guerrilla uprising against repressive Belgrade rule.

    Serbia legally still considers Kosovo an integral part of its territory.

    It denies whipping up tensions and conflict there, and accuses Pristina of trampling on the rights of minority Serbs. Ethnic Serbs account for 5 percent of Kosovo’s 1.8 million population, which is 90 percent ethnic Albanian.

    Mr Vucic said Serbia wanted to avoid any escalation of the situation, but it was important to understand that there is “a new generation of young men” who see Kosovo as Serbian territory and will no longer “put up with the terror”.

    The Kosovo leader branded Mr Vucic “little Putin” in a public speech last week as Serbia remains very close to Kremlin.

    He said: “At a time when the whole democratic world has distanced itself from Putin, our northern neighbour organises rallies in support of Putin by praising him and justifying his crimes in Ukraine. His friends in Serbia and Republika Srpska want to lure Russia into the Balkans.

    “Peace and security in the Western Balkans has never been more threatened by Putin’s friend in the Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina and little Putin of Serbia.”

    Serbia rejected the accusation, with the Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic saying Mr Kurti is “little Hitler from the Balkans”.

    He said: “In Hitler’s dreams and plans, he is disturbed by President Aleksandar Vucic, who is fighting like a lion for the interests of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, who will not allow anyone to ethnically cleanse our people from the southern province and carry out new clean-ups and storms.

    “While Belgrade helped Serbs and Albanians, Pristina is renovating the memorial house of Nazi collaborator Xhafer Deva, while little Hitler wants to create a greater Albania, Belgrade is defending the Open Balkans initiative and while refusing to form the Association as a guarantor of peace and Kurti is sending ROSU to the areas where Serbs live.”

  • 14 минут назад 18.08.2022Politics
    ‘Talking a good game but you’ve lost 100,000 members!’ Labour MP slammed over RMT support

    Sky News host Niall Paterson undermined shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson’s claims that the Labour Party was thriving in the current political climate as he spoke of the evident “problems within the party” regarding whether or not to partake of strikes alongside the trade unions. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has openly discouraged his MPs from joining the strike action alongside the rail unions, even sacking former shadow transport minister Sam Tarry for doing a broadcast interview from the picket line, but critics within the party have asked why the unions cannot be endorsed. Ms Phillipson sidestepped the question of whether she would stand with National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers chief Mick Lynch in today’s strikes, before blaming the Conservative Government for being “completely unwilling” to listen to the unions.

    Mr Paterson said: “You’re talking a good game there but losing 100,000 members during a time of almost unprecedented industrial unrest does speak to problems within the party.

    “Some might suggest that the somewhat confusing lines being taken by the Labour Party as regards the strike, and as regards being on the picket line, I mean would you consider standing next to Mick Lynch on an RMT picket?”

    Ms Phillipson said: “Well I will not be on the picket line today because I will be visiting a school up in the northeast to meet with young people getting their results.

    “But I want to be a part of that next Labour government and if we are to be a part of that next government, then we will be sitting around the table seeking to find a solution to all of this.

    “So, we would be involved in getting people around the table and getting an agreement. You look at the current government, they are not interested in that.

    “They just want to stoke that division, cause problems, and actually see how long the strikes will continue. It feels to me they desperately want those strikes to go ahead.

    “I don’t want strikes to happen. I mean, they represent a failure when you get to that point. Workers know that, trade unions know that, they would always want to get a compromise.

    “But you have a government that is completely unwilling to listen and is not able to take decisions at the moment, so it is little wonder that workers are really fed up.”

    In the latest feud between Sir Keir and the left of his party, tensions have arisen over the possibility of MPs joining in with the RMT over strikes concerning pay disputes.

    Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who attended strikes a few weeks ago alongside Mick Lynch, openly discussed the importance of Labour politicians standing for the strikers.

    As the RMT begins another day of striking today, Labour politicians have continued to sidestep the confusing position of whether they are or are not allowed to join in with the strikes, instead peddling the line that transport secretary Grant Shapps is failing to negotiate with the RMT for political gain.

    Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, wrote on Twitter today: “Grant Shapps could resolve this strike with a one-point plan: getting round the table and doing his job.

    “Instead, desperate and destructive plans from a failed Transport Secretary due to be put out of service. Nothing to offer working people facing the cost-of-living emergency.”

    The in-house and cross-party fighting comes as it was revealed that the Labour Party lost nearly 100,000 members and more than £3 million in fees.

    The Electoral Commission showed that membership of the party under Sir Keir Starmer dropped from 523,332 in 2020 to just over 432,000 the following year.

    The party also ended the year with 93 fewer staff, while its biggest donor, Unite, has threatened to withdraw its funding.

    The reasons for the mass exodus are unclear, though Mr Paterson suggested the “confusing” lines over whether or not to join the picket line indicated an absence of clear policy, something which may put off members.

  • 14 минут назад 18.08.2022Politics
    Brexit LIVE: PM hopeful Truss handed ‘trump card’ as ‘tit-for-tat’ EU battle escalates

    The EU has moved to use its flagship Horizon research programme, which has been historically profitable for UK scientists, as leverage in the boiling row over the Northern Ireland Protocol. The European Commission has claimed it does not “trust” Britain enough to let it join the likes of non-EU Georgia, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia as associate members of Horizon. The move comes after Tory threats to unilaterally tear up the Protocol, and after Ms Truss published legislation to turn those threats into reality. Writing in the Telegraph, Joe Barnes said the dispute could be used by Ms Truss as a “trump card to help burnish her Brexiteer credentials” ahead of the big vote. “Tit-for-tat rows are going to be a permanent feature of UK-EU business until relations can be reset,” he adds. By taking a hard-line against the EU’s bitter campaign, Ms Truss can cement herself as the right candidate for Prime Minister. She has confirmed she is taking legal action to put an end to the bloc’s behaviour.

  • 4 часа, 14 минут назад 18.08.2022Politics
    ‘Hard to square!’ Truss and Sunak suffer blow as expert slams Tory tax cutting agenda

    The Foreign Secretary and former Chancellor are currently competing to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader. The pair faced off in Belfast yesterday for the eight Tory Party hustings event of the campaign.

    However, shortly after the Ulster event, Mr Truss and Mr Sunak faced criticism over their tax plans.

    Ms Truss has pledged to start cutting taxes from “day one”.

    She has even vowed to reverse April’s National Insurance increase and a planned rise in corporation tax.

    Mr Sunak, who has claimed he wants to control inflation before pursuing a tax-cutting agenda, unveiled plans to temporarily axe VAT on energy bills.

    The Richmond MP also pledged to eventually cut income tax from 20p to 16p.

    However, an expert at the Institute for Government suggested both plans are looking more implausible by the day.

    Carl Emmerson, IFS deputy director, said: “The reality is that the UK has got poorer over the last year.

    “That makes tax and spending decisions all the more difficult.

    “It is hard to square the promises that both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak are making to cut taxes over the medium term with the absence of any specific measures to cut public spending and a presumed desire to manage the nation’s finances responsibly.”

    The IFS added: “Only last month the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) warned that the public finances are already on an unsustainable long-term path.

    “Large, unfunded, permanent tax cuts would only act to make this problem worse.”

    The report was published while inflation hit a whopping 10.1 percent in July.

    Despite the criticism, a spokeswoman for the Sunak campaign said of the IFS report: “This drives a coach and horses through Liz’s economic plan.

    “Rishi has consistently made the case that permanent, unfunded tax cuts would cause significant damage to the public finances and push inflation up higher.

    “It is not credible or Conservative to spend £50bn on tax cuts and pay for them through higher borrowing at a time of high inflation.

    “Rishi’s plan is the right plan to prioritise temporary, targeted support for those who need it through the winter, grip inflation and cut taxes sustainably and for good.”

  • 8 часов, 14 минут назад 18.08.2022Politics
    GB News: BBC’s cost of living coverage slammed for ‘prophesying doom and gloom’

    Recent reports of the energy crisis have warned that household energy bills will continue to rise and will stay high into 2024 while pubs and restaurants have warned they may have to close. According to the Daily Mail columnist, “most of us are going to have to help ourselves” after the BBC and Martin Lewis, the money expert, are putting too much emphasis on Government bailouts.

    According to Mr Glover’s recent column, Martin Lewis “has been freely prophesying Armageddon” about the financial struggles households are and will continue to face.

    He added: “The government has already done quite a bit, having shelled out £37 billion of support so far this year.

    “Under existing plans, the most vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200.”

    Mr Glover noted that the coverage from the media is driven by fear and panic which is a far cry from the resilience shown by Brits 50 years ago.

    He wrote: “The phlegmatic British coped all right 50 years ago with three-day weeks, frequent blackouts and reading by candlelight.

    “Not ideal, I grant, but endurable. Have we become so infantilised by the State, and so dependent on it, that we can’t improvise?”

    Speaking to GB News host Dan Wootton, Mr Glover said that Martin Lewis is a tool brought out by media outlets, notably the BBC, “when they want to make our flesh creep”.

    Mr Wootton agreed with the comments and both men mentioned that they have admiration for the role that Mr Lewis has played advising the public.

    However, Mr Glover added: “But it’s not clear to me how that qualifies him to be the leading pundit now on the BBC and other channels as well on prophesying doom and gloom and also, worryingly, civil unrest.

    “He’s been going on for months now about how unless the Government takes dramatic action, there’s going to be civil unrest.

    “How does he know? It seems to me to be a dangerous prophecy to make. It doesn’t help anybody.”

    The BBC’s coverage only comes at the energy crisis from one perspective according to Mr Wootton, who likened it to their coverage of lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic.

    The Kiwi born host added: “In this case, it’s why aren’t you spending more money, it is a very socialist approach that they’re taking to this problem when they quiz ministers.”

    Mr Glover replied: “The BBC’s approach is that the Government must spend much more money and it never seems to occur to them that people to some degree have the independence to deal with these problems ourselves.

    “We use electricity less, turn the lights off, turn the heating off at night, we can use our appliances less.”

    He continued: “All of these things, they may be marginal but if you add them together, they will have some effect and the assumption that it is entirely down to the Government to bail us out is wrong and dangerous.

    “Obviously people in need are going to require help and they’ve already got some help and there will be more help from the Government, but most of us are going to have to help ourselves as well and that is something which is often ignored, not just by the BBC but by Martin Lewis.”

  • 8 часов, 14 минут назад 18.08.2022Politics
    ‘Horrifying’ inflation fears as Bank of England could hike interest rates in dire warning

    According to the ONS this was an increase from 9.4 percent in June and had been driven by the increased cost of food, fuel and energy. The increase is higher than expected and has generated a row between the two camps in the ongoing Conservative leadership campaign between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

    There has also been fresh criticism of the Government and the Bank of England.

    Tory peer Lord Rose, who is chairman of the supermarket ASDA, described the lack of action taken to combat spiralling inflation as “horrifying”.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Lord Rose compared the situation to a ship whose captain was on holiday.

    He said: “The captain of the ship is on shore leave.

    “We’re sitting here now, into the fourth month of the crisis, and we’re still waiting to see what action will be taken – it’s horrifying.”

    Experts have warned that the Bank of England is set to hike interest rates even further.

    Some financial markets believe that the bank could more than double rates to 3.75 percent.

    The ONS analysis concluded that inflation was now having more of a negative impact on lower income households than wealthier ones.

    This is due to the impact of rising food and fuel bills.

    Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss said on Tuesday she would treat inflation as a “urgent issue”.

    She said: “What I would do immediately is reduce taxes, reversing the National Insurance increases, having a moratorium on the green energy levy to save people money on their fuel bills.”

    However her rival former Chancellor Rishi Sunak blasted Mr Truss’s plan, arguing that he was the only candidate with a credible plan to tackle inflation.

    He said: “Liz’s plan is to say ‘I believe in tax cuts, not direct support’.

    “I don’t think that’s right because a tax cut for someone on her salary means £1,700 of help.”

    Mr Sunak added that under Ms Truss’s plan someone on the national living wage would get a cut of £1 a week.

    In contrast a pensioner who wasn’t working would receive “precisely zero”.

    The Richmond MP added that not to help the vulnerable would be a “moral failure”.

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Politics 'We must stop them' Rishi blasts 'dangerously complacent' Truss tactics on Sturgeon threat