Liz Truss has been described as a “child of the union” by a group of Scottish Conservative MSPs, who claim she “won’t play Nicola Sturgeon’s constitutional games”.
The group, made up of MSPs Finlay Carson, Sharon Dowey, Murdo Fraser, Rachel Hamilton, Liam Kerr, Stephen Kerr, Douglas Lumsden, Oliver Mundell, and Graham Simpson, gave their backing to Truss’ Conservative leadership bid in a Times newspaper column.
Truss is competing with former chancellor Rishi Sunak to become the UK’s next prime minister.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has so far ruled out endorsing either candidate in the contest.
Foreign secretary Truss has insisted that she will not allow an independence referendum to take place if she enters No 10.
And she has pledged that she will “do what is necessary and right to defend our union”.
In a column in the Times, the group of Scottish Conservative MSPs pointed to Truss’ schooldays in Paisley as they underlined their aims for a prime minister who understands the value of the union.
“As Scottish Conservative MSPs we are looking for a prime minister who truly understand the value of the common ties that make our United Kingdom the most successful political, economic, social and cultural Union in the world,” they wrote.
“It is for that reason that we are collectively backing Liz Truss to be leader of the Conservative Party and our next prime minister.
“Liz grew up in Paisley where she attended state primary school before attending her local comprehensive after her family moved to Leeds.
“She is driven to ensure that everyone in our country has the opportunity to succeed in life and get as far as their talents will take them, regardless of background.”
The MSPs said that Truss knows that the UK is “stronger together”.
They continued: “Having spent her early years living in Scotland Liz is a child of the union.
“She knows from personal experience that we are stronger together across the United Kingdom.
“She knows that by working together we can get through the cost of living crisis, tackle the challenges of climate change, provide people with jobs and opportunities, lead the world in research and innovation, and that we can be a force for good in the world.”
The group said that in her role as foreign secretary, Truss had helped to secure the removal of “damaging” US tariffs on Scotch whisky, cashmere and machinery.
And they suggested that Truss would “get Scotland’s economy moving” by cutting taxes, including the scrapping of the planned rise in corporation tax, as well as reviewing the windfall tax on energy companies.
The MSPs insisted that Truss would “not be distracted by the SNP’s independence obsession”, as they argued that she would focus on delivering for people in Scotland.
They wrote: “Liz Truss will resolutely and unequivocally stand up for Scotland’s place in the Union.
“Her serious style of leadership and her ability to deliver results in government are exactly what we need to take on the SNP/Green coalition that is holding Scotland’s potential back.
“Liz won’t play Nicola Sturgeon’s constitutional games.
“While the SNP continues its attempts to distract Scottish voters from their shameful record in government with a referendum sideshow, Liz as prime minister will focus on delivering for the people of Scotland that matter most.
“Liz will not be distracted by the SNP’s independence obsession, she will be laser-focused on uniting our country and delivering for it like we have never seen before.”
The SNP has criticised both Truss and Sunak, claiming that they are “out of touch” with people across Scotland.
Keith Brown, the party’s depute leader, said: “It is crystal clear that the people of Scotland and Scottish democracy mean nothing to either of the contenders for next Tory prime minister.”