New PM of UK Will Face A Challenge In Scotland

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak and UK's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss addressed the Scottish Conservatives on 16 August

2 min read

Keeping the country together would become a crucial point for the UK's next prime minister. At present, the dire state of the economy and the cost of living crisis have been at the forefront, however, when the two candidates Indian-origin Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss went to Scotland on Tuesday, 16 August, those issues took a backseat.

Sunak and Truss pitched themselves to the Scottish Conservatives during a tumultuous time between the governments in Edinburgh and London as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon demanded for another independence referendum.

Hundreds of Scots who are campaigning for a second referendum vote stood outside the event late Tuesday and booed Scottish Secretary Alister Jack as he was walking in. Some Tory party members were also hit with eggs.

The party faithfuls heard the candidates' plans for preserving the unity of the UK. Similar to the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Truss and Sunak plan to refuse to permit a referendum, a challenge that Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party are currently pursuing in the courts.


While Sunak promised to battle Sturgeon and beat the SNP, Truss promised to "never ever let our family be split up".

Apart from the UK's constitutional future, the Conservatives' ability to revert from their decline in Scotland remains to be seen. It would be instrumental for the Conservative Party in the next election if it continues to lose support in other parts of the United Kingdom, as per a report by Bloomberg.

The unionist vote in Scotland is split between the Labour and the Liberal Democrats while the pro-independence vote is largely focused on SNP.

Truss has set the tone for anti-independence by calling Sturgeon an "attention seeker" who's best to ignore. While Sturgeon retorted by accusing Truss of vanity and said the UK Foreign Secretary "just wanted to know how she could get into Vogue."

Former Chancellor Sunak has said that he will challenge Sturgeon over issues such as health and education, which the Scottish government oversees, and ensure that public services are "better joined up".

In 2014, Scotland voted to remain in the UK by 55 percent to 45 percent, however, voted against leaving the European Union less than two years later, reported Bloomberg.

Polls show that Scotland is roughly split down the middle on whether to break away.

(With inputs from Bloomberg, Associated Press)

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