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Lorna Slater ‘terrified’ by Tory leadership candidates’ approach to economy

Lorna Slater ‘terrified’ by Tory leadership candidates’ approach to economy
The Scottish Greens co-leader accused both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak of ‘disrespecting’ the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Green Party co-leader Lorna Slater said she was “terrified” by the Conservative leadership candidates’ approach to the economy.

It comes after Liz Truss performed a U-turn following an announcement that she would cut public sector pay by £8.8 billion outside of London on Tuesday.

Following criticism from fellow Conservatives, including Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen – who is backing Rishi Sunak and said he had been left “actually speechless” by Ms Truss’s proposal and suggested it would have cost the party the next general election if it was implemented.

Ms Truss abandoned the policy, claiming it had been “misrepresented”.

Ms Slater said both Mr Sunak and Ms Truss had “disrespected” the Scottish Parliament.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss taking part in the BBC Tory leadership debate live (Jacob King/PA)
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss taking part in the BBC Tory leadership debate live (Jacob King/PA)

Speaking to BBC Scotland’s The Nine on Tuesday evening, she said: “I’m honestly terrified by the Tory leadership candidates’ approach to the economy and to the cost-of-living crisis.

“Their cruel cuts. Their cruel deportations, and their disrespect of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people are making an excellent case for independence and how Scotland would be better as an independent European country.”

But senior Scottish Tories say the UK Government’s role is “absolutely vital” in Scotland.

Murdo Fraser said the UK Government have a ‘vital role’ to play in Scotland (Fraser Bremner/PA)
Murdo Fraser said the UK Government have a ‘vital role’ to play in Scotland (Fraser Bremner/PA)

Speaking to the same programme, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, said: “There are still a huge range of areas industrial policy in relation to Freeport in relation to city deals, in relation to defence where the UK Government’s role in supporting jobs across Scotland is absolutely vital, and continues to be.

“Rather than trying to stand against that criticise that. I want to encourage the Scottish Government to sit down and work with the UK Government so both Scotland’s governments can deliver.”

Meanwhile, Labour MSP Neil Bibby, who represents West Scotland, accused the Conservatives of “levelling down” Paisley where Ms Truss spent time growing up in the 1980s.

In his weekly column for the Paisley Daily Express, Mr Bibby said the Tory record in the area was “shameful”.

He wrote: “The Tory Governments of my adulthood, and that you have supported as an MP since 2010, have been little better for this area than the Thatcher and Major governments.

Austerity was a political choice, and an increasingly discredited one. You can’t cut your way out of an economic crisis.

“Don’t just give Paisley a name-check. Give Paisley an actual cheque for the investment and jobs it deserves.”