A Scottish MP has said Rishi Sunak will be “just as bad” for the people of Scotland after Boris Johnson pulled out of the race to become the next prime minister.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford’s comments come as the former chancellor has been dubbed the favourite to top the ballot of MPs after Johnson’s dramatic withdrawal from the bid on Sunday evening.
The candidates for the election to replace Liz Truss will now potentially be solely between Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House.
Commenting, the SNP’s Westminster leader said: “No Tory Prime Minister can or will deliver for Scotland, and with his record of callous austerity from his time as chancellor we know Rishi Sunak will be just as bad as Johnson was for the people of Scotland.
“Having wrecked the economy, in a period of rule that’s seen mortgage rates rise, pensions fall, and soaring inflation driving up household bills, the last thing the country needs is another unelected Tory in Downing Street.
“If Tory MPs have any respect for democracy they’ll put the pressure on the new prime minister to immediately call a general election.
“This entire saga has shown exactly why Scotland needs independence – so we can once and for all escape the chaos and calamity of undemocratic Tory rule.”
He added: “That the Tories can foist upon us a third prime minister in just three years without an election, in the midst of a cost of living and economic crisis of their making, speaks to how unfair and undemocratic this Westminster system is.”
In a statement announcing his withdrawal from the race for 10 Downing Street, Johnson insisted he had secured the 100 nominations needed to get onto the ballot paper – and that if he stood there was a “very good chance” he would be back in Downing Street by the end of the week.
But the former prime minster added it would “simply not be the right thing to do” as “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament”.
Earlier, Blackford wrote to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urging him to push for a vote of no confidence in the Tories, vowing he will work with other opposition parties to try to make this happen in a bid to force an early general election.
As the leader of the opposition in the House of Commons, Sir Keir is the only MP who can submit a formal vote of no confidence motion.
Blackford insisted that opposition leaders “cannot stand idly by as the Tories attempt to impose their third prime minister in the space of three months”.