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by Louise Wilson
24 June 2024
Rishi Sunak: Send ‘clear message’ to end ‘constitutional monomania’

Rishi Sunak and Douglas Ross launched the Scottish Tory manifesto on Monday | Alamy

Rishi Sunak: Send ‘clear message’ to end ‘constitutional monomania’

Electing a raft of Scottish Conservative MPs will send a “clear message” to the SNP to end its “constitutional monomania”, Rishi Sunak has said.

The prime minister, in Edinburgh to launch the Scottish Conservative manifesto alongside Douglas Ross, said he would “fight very hard until the last day” of the campaign to keep his party in government despite numerous polls indicating Labour is on track for a huge majority.

Criticising the SNP for putting independence on page one of its manifesto, Sunak insisted the constitution was “simply not people’s priority”.

But he refused to say whether a Tory near-wipeout and the SNP winning a majority of seats meant the party had a mandate to call for another referendum.

He said: “Every Scottish Conservative MP returned makes our United Kingdom stronger and it sends a clear message: Scotland wants politicians to concentrate on the priorities of the Scottish people and not constitutional monomania.”

The Scottish Conservative manifesto says the party will “focus on your priorities” and includes pledges in a range of devolved areas including the NHS, roads, schools and income tax.

But it also highlights commitments on reserved matters including immigration, National Insurance and pensions.

Ross said his party was the only one which would turn a “bad night” into a “terrible” one for the SNP.

He said: “They are going to have a bad night. It can be a terrible night if the Scottish Conservatives win in these key seats up and down the country, which means people uniting behind us to deliver that awful night for the SNP, end their obsession with independence for good and get the focus on the priorities that we've got in the manifesto.”

At the last election, the Scottish Tories won six seats and the party is hoping to retain that number during what will likely be a tough night for the party UK-wide.

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