Sunak criticised after Scots conference speech lasts two minutes

The Chancellor addressed the conference virtually.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak criticised after Scottish Conservative conference speech lasts just over two minutes Flickr

Rishi Sunak has been criticised after his key note speech at the Scottish Conservative conference lasted for just over two minutes.

The Chancellor spoke virtually at the event on its opening day in Aberdeen on Friday.

But, the speech was only 320 words in length, as political opponents suggested you could “blink” and miss it.

Addressing the conference, Sunak reflected on the actions taken by the UK Government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And he set out the Government’s aims for Scotland to benefit from their “levelling up” agenda.

“When our country needed it most, the might of the UK Treasury was placed at the disposal of every citizen, wherever they lived,” Sunak said.

“And our actions paid off, not only are we now one of the most open societies in Europe but also the fastest growing economy in the G7.  

“Yet as we look to the future and continue our recovery, we cannot go back to the failed economic model of the past, with low productivity and deep inequality across our country.  

“We must chart a new course together; one that delivers greater opportunity in every region and every community.”

The Chancellor made reference to funding announced for projects in Scotland as part of this year’s Budget.

It included £52m for the delivery of two Scottish freeports and £150m for the British Business Bank to help small and medium sizes Scottish businesses to grow.

He said: “The UK Government has a plan to deliver opportunity and growth in every part of our country.  

“And it is a plan that we want Scotland to share in, to drive, to lead.  

After all we have been through, let’s build that brighter, more prosperous future for the whole of the United Kingdom together.”

Following the speech, Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said that the Conservatives have “nothing new to say”.

“Right now we need real leadership and vision from the Chancellor, but blink and you might miss this speech,” he said.

“A few minutes of buzzwords and slogans won’t rebuild our struggling economy and certainly won’t help struggling families.

“These pitiful words are still a lot more words than he’s dedicated to helping Scots with the cost of living crisis.

“This is a Tory party with no answers, no ideas, and nothing new to say.

“Only Labour are strong enough to stand up to the SNP and capable of replacing the Tories.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative MSP Stephen Kerr also had an unfortunate mishap after his crown fell out whilst speaking at the conference.

The party’s chief whip at Holyrood had been addressing those in attendance when the mishap took place.

After returning to the podium, he joked: “If there’s nothing else you take away from this session, perhaps it is not to have a crown pop out when you’re speaking at Tory party conference.”

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