Kay Burley take brutal swipe at Tories' election chances
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Andrew Bowie MP suffered a brutal dig at the hands of Sky News’s Kay Burley over the Tories’ election chances in Scotland with a new Prime Minister. Mr Bowie has expressed support for former chancellor Rishi Sunak in the race to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and was grilled on how the leadership hopeful would boost the Conservative’s appeal amongst Scottish voters.
Ms Burley asked the Scottish Tory: “What is [Rishi Sunak] going to do you do to try and win over Scots voters though because traditionally, Tories don’t do very well north of the border?”
“Well, I’m living testament to the fact that conservatives can get elected in Scotland,” replied Mr Bowie.
The Sky News presenter replied: “But the joke is there are more flipping pandas in Scotland than there are Tory MPs!?”
“Well we have about three times as many Conservative MPs then we have pandas in Scotland,” answered the Conservative MP.
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“I got elected in 2017, we got 13 conservatives elected in Scotland in 2017, yeah, we fell back in 2019,” he added.
“But we are far and away at better in a better place than we were at any stage in 1997 and 2017 and I think that we can go on and grow that and I think Rishi Sunak is just the man to appeal to Scots.”
Mr Sunak insists he has a plan to deal with the economic “headwinds” the country is facing, saying it is a matter of “when” and not “if” the tax burden starts to fall.
But his successor in No 11 and leadership rival Nadhim Zahawi lashed out at Mr Sunak’s reluctance to do more now, saying it is not a “fairytale” to cut taxes to ease the cost-of-living crisis.
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Mr Sunak will receive heavyweight support from another ex-chancellor, Lord Lamont, who said Mr Sunak has the courage to take the “tough decisions” needed to deal with the “extremely serious” economic situation.
Candidates require the support of 20 MPs in order to make the leadership contest, with nominations closing later on Tuesday.
By Tuesday morning, Mr Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat look to already have the declared backers to make the threshold.
Several other candidates – including Liz Truss, Mr Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt, and Kemi Badenoch – were close enough before nominations formally opened to suggest they will be in the race.
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Insiders from Sajid Javid’s campaign were also confident of making the cut, as were allies of Suella Braverman.
Grant Shapps faces a battle to get the required nominations, while Rehman Chishti’s low-key campaign does not appear to have caught the imagination of his colleagues and he may well fall at the first hurdle.
Mr Sunak – who has the most declarations of support so far – is alone among the contenders to succeed Mr Johnson in not promising immediate tax cuts if he wins.
He has come under attack from allies of the Prime Minister, who believe his announcement last week that he is quitting helped trigger the slew of resignations which forced Mr Johnson to admit his time is up.
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