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Liz Truss rules out second Scottish independence referendum

Liz Truss rules out second Scottish independence referendum

Her comments were echoed by fellow conservative contender Rishi Sunak as the pair addressed party members at a hustings in Perth.

Ms Truss told the audience: “I consider myself a child of the union and to me we’re not just neighbours, we’re family.

“I will never ever let our family be split up.”

Asked directly if she would allow another independence referendum, she says: “If I am elected prime minister I will not allow another independence referendum.”

Liz Truss

/ AFP via Getty Images

She said the previous independence poll was a “once-in-a-generation” event, adding: “I believe in politicians keeping their promises, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon should keep her promise.

“What she should do, rather than agitating for another referendum, is dealing with the very real issues in Scotland.”

Mr Sunak, whose resignation as Chancellor of the Exchequer paved the way for Boris Johnson’s resignation, said he could not “imagine the circumstances” in which he would allow a second Scottish independence referendum if he becomes prime minister.

Pressed whether he would rule out the referendum or allow it, Mr Sunak told the Tory leadership hustings: “I can’t imagine the circumstances in which I would.

“We live in a union which is of course there by consent and by democracy and I accept that, but I just don’t think that anybody thinks that now or any time in the near future is remotely the time to focus on this.”

Rishi Sunak

/ Getty Images

The pair also agreed on their opposition to Labour’s plan to deal with the cost of living crisis with both ruling out freezing the energy price cap to help struggling households with growing costs.

Sir Keir Starmer said his party would freeze the energy price cap at its current level of £1,971 for six months from October, paid for in part by an extension of the windfall levy on the profits of the oil and gas companies.

Ms Truss said her “priority” was “reducing taxes”.

She said: “It is wrong to just keep sticking plasters on this problem.

“What we actually need to do is make sure we are unleashing more energy, for example, from the North Sea.

“We’re investing in technologies like nuclear, and we’re finding more renewable energy as well.”

Asked if he would rule out the proposals by the Labour Party, Mr Sunak said: “Yes I don’t think that is the right approach.”

Asked what he would do to help businesses with energy costs, Mr Sunak added that things he had done as chancellor, including a cut to business rates, were already “making a difference”.

Ms Truss finished by saying if she became PM she would appoint a cabinet of “all of the best talents from right across the Conservative Party”, including her leadership rival.

Elsewhere, Ms Truss faced criticism after a leaked audio recording captured her saying British workers needed “more graft” and “lacked skill and application” compared with foreign workforces.

In the leaked recording she lays into the British workforce for not being willing to do the necessary work to increase prosperity.

The recording was from 2019 when Truss was chief secretary to the treasury, according to the Guardian.

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