Published On: Fri, Mar 1st, 2024

Rishi Sunak warned ‘chaos in England’ has ‘dragged down’ Scots Tories and boosted SNP | Politics | News

A senior Scottish Tory has lashed out over the “chaos in England” after a fresh poll revealed support for the Conservatives has dropped in Scotland, with voters apparently turning to the SNP.

The furious response from a former senior party official north of the Border has come at the end of a terrible week for Rishi Sunak which began with him plunging the party into a furious row with the controversial suspension of Lee Anderson over claims that Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan had allowed Islamists to take over the streets of London.

With party divisions in Westminster growing further after the suspension, a new poll in Scotland has seen the Tories drop to just 15 percent while the SNP have seen their lead grow over Labour grow to five points with a 38 percent share of the vote.

This has come despite the chaos the SNP itself is suffering under Humza Yousaf‘s leadership and the allegations being faced by former leader Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell, the party’s former chief executive.

It also puts pay to hopes among Scottish Tories that the civil war the party is suffering in England is not hitting them in Scotland because the “change narrative” is about moving on from the SNP.

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Adam Morris, former head of media for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “While there’s no doubt the Scottish Conservatives are being dragged down by the party’s chaos in England, they could still have a strong showing north of the border.

“They have a good presence in some areas, especially the north-east, and a number of strong candidates will be in with a good shout of retaining or winning their seat.

“It’s not easy to keep their distance from the wider UK party, but it also represents their best chance of increasing the number of Scottish Conservative MPs going back down to Westminster.”

The past week has seen problems for both leading UK parties.

While the Tories have been dealing with the Lee Anderson fallout, Labour are still under pressure over the Israel/Hamas war in Gaza and continued antisemitism in the party.

Labour now have the embarrassment of not retaining Rochdale after they were forced to drop their candidate over his anti-Semitic remarks and support for a conspiracy theory about Israel.

But the SNP have been ruthlessly trying to pick up the Muslim vote in Scotland with their own anti-Israel stance and claims that Starmer is weak for not supporting a ceasefire.

The issue came to a head last week when Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, intervened to help Labour, his former party, avoid an embarrassing vote on a motion laid down by the SNP.

Sir Lindsay is now facing calls for him to resign with more than 90 MPs from cross parties backing a motion demanding he steps down.

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