Author: Gina Davidson
Ruth Davidson has been criticised for backing Sajid Javid in the Tory leadership contest because of his “extreme views” on devolution, immigration and Brexit.
The Scottish Conservative leader has thrown her weight behind the Home Secretary as the Tory leadership race heats up, saying he has a vision to unite a “divided Britain”.
But the SNP’s Linda Fabiani today said that Davidson’s support of Javid proved “she’s just like any other Tory”.
The MSP pointed to Mr Javid’s past comments where he described devolution as “nothing short of constitutional vandalism” and claimed that it was only “done to shore up support for Labour”.
He has also backed a No Deal Brexit, and did not take up an offer to visit the detention centre, Dungavel House, after new evidence exposed a number of children and pregnant women were being detained there.
Ms Fabiani MSP said: “Ruth Davidson likes to pretend that the Tories in Scotland are a breed apart – but in backing another hard-line Brexiteer, she’s just like any other Tory.
“The Conservative and Unionist party always put Westminster first – and Sajid Javid’s hostility to power in the hands of the Scottish people speaks volumes. He wants to reverse the progress of 20 years of devolution.
“In backing Javid, Ruth Davidson is sending a clear message that she thinks mistreating migrants and keeping families seeking asylum behind barbed wire is acceptable.”
She added: “After being hammered in the most recent EU polls, you’d think Ruth Davidson would have realised that the wishes of the people of Scotland shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. As the UK looks set to take a further lurch to the right under a new Prime Minister, Scotland must be given the opportunity to choose a different path.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has also criticised Ms Davidson’s decision. “A no deal Brexit will cost jobs, damage our economy and put our NHS at risk, yet this is the very chaos that Sajid Javid is committed to imposing if he becomes the next Tory Prime Minister,” he said.
“This is a reckless decision that calls into question Ruth Davidson’s judgement. Scottish Labour will never countenance a no deal Brexit and we will fight the Tories’ plans to wreck our economy every step of the way.”
But a spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “The Conservative party has strengthened devolution and handed new powers to the Scottish Parliament.
“Unfortunately, due to the total incompetence of Nicola Sturgeon’s government, those powers have either been mishandled or delayed because the SNP doesn’t know what to do with them.
“Rather than spend time searching Google, perhaps the SNP would be better off focusing on its actual job, running Scotland’s government.”