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UK Political News and Opinion

New Scottish Secretary once backed Scots Tory breakaway group, Boris gets cold shoulder in Scotland

2 min read
29 July 2019 | UK NEWS

Reports have surfaced today that the new Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, once advocated a plan to produce a breakaway group of small-C conservatives in Scotland. Speaking in 2011, Mr Jack is reported to have said “we shouldn’t be frightened of stepping out on our own” in relation to a radical proposal to abolish the Scottish Conservatives north of the border.

It comes amid reports that the present Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, has great reservations about the prospect of a Boris Johnson-led government. Ms Davidson was said to have been angered by Mr Johnson’s sacking of her former ally, David Mundell, as Secretary of State for Scotland, ahead of her meeting with him today.

Mr Johnson is also said to have endured a frosty reception when meeting Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP’s First Minister of Scotland, earlier today. He was reportedly booed by anti-Brexit and pro-independence activists as he entered her official residence, and Ms Sturgeon later said that the country’s new administration was “secretly pursuing a no-deal Brexit”. The Prime Minister is said to have left her residence by the back door following their meeting.

In the Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein have accused the Prime Minister of being “discourteous and offensive” in his failure to contact the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, since entering Downing Street. Accusing Mr Johnson of “snubbing” the Taoiseach, its Vice President, Michelle O’Neill, said that she had raised the matter during a meeting with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, earlier today. She added:

“I would judge that it is highly discourteous that the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not engaging with the Taoiseach. That is highly offensive given the disastrous impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.”

Returning to continental affairs, The Daily Mail reported today that the Prime Minister has no plans to travel to European capitals in order to conduct further negotiations to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Meanwhile, The Mirror carries a story suggesting that the Cabinet Office inquiry into the allegations that Mark Field, a former Foreign Office Minister, manhandled a protester during a dinner last month has been dropped by the Prime Minister, given that Mr Field had already lost his job as a result of the affair and this was “a matter for the previous PM”. At the time, we at Wolves ran an opinion piece by Elena Bunbury, the Young Conservative activist and MP candidate who also introduced Jeremy Hunt at the final Conservative Leadership hustings, here.

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