Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she wants a “constructive working relationship” with Liz Truss, but warned the incoming Prime Minister must “act now” to address the cost of living crisis.
The First Minister said action on freezing energy prices had to come “within the next few hours and days” ahead of the price cap rise in October.
She congratulated Truss on her victory over Rishi Sunak in the Conservative party leadership vote, the result of which was announced on Monday.
During the campaign, Truss branded Sturgeon an “attention seeker who was best ignored,” but the FM said she was willing to put their political differences to one side in an effort to steer the country through the “worst and most acute” crisis.
But she warned there was no time to waste on making difficult decision to address the crippling cost of living, with inflation predicted to hit 14% by the end of the year.
“I will do my very best despite our big political differences to build a constructive working relationship with her. I’ve sought to do that with her three predecessors as Prime Minister,” Sturgeon said.
“I know how tough leadership is in the best of times and we don’t live in the best of times. The UK is in the worst and most acute crisis of our lifetimes, so the responsibility on her because she holds the power and the resources to respond to this crisis is huge.”
Truss will formally become prime minister on Tuesday when she meets the Queen at Balmoral – the first time the monarch will appoint the Downing Street leader in Scotland.
She has already promised to introduce a package of support during her first week in the top job.
However, Sturgeon urged the full range of measures should include money for devolved administrations too.
“But she must act now, not in the next few weeks but literally in the coming hours and days to freeze energy prices for people and for businesses to deliver more cash support to people who are already finding it impossible to pay their bills and provide more funding for devolved governments to support public services and public sector workers,” Sturgeon said.
“These are big decisions that lie ahead of her and she must take them with urgency.”