Theresa May urges Scots to vote Conservative to ‘strengthen union’

Theresa May speaks after Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson delivered her Scottish manifesto (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Theresa May speaks after Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson delivered her Scottish manifesto (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

THERESA MAY has said Britons are “one people” at heart, as she urged Scots to back the Conservatives in the General Election.

She pledged to deliver for the whole of the United Kingdom if voted into power on June 8.

With recent elections showing Scots coming back to the Conservatives, she told voters: “Come with me as I lead Britain.

“Strengthen my hand as I fight to strengthen our Union.”

The PM was speaking after her party’s Scottish leader, Ruth Davidson, made a direct pitch to Labour voters disillusioned under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

“Let me do a job for you,” Ms Davidson asked them.

The Prime Minister told Scots it is time to leave behind the “old tribal politics”.

She urged people not to think about who they voted for in the past, calling on them to instead consider “who you want to lead our country in the future, who will get the best deal for the whole of the UK from Brexit”.

She added: “It is time to come together in the national interest, united in our desire to make a success of Brexit.”

Scots voted by a margin of 62% to 38% to remain in the European Union last June – a result which led Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to call for a second vote on independence.

Mrs May said: “I have been clear that now is not the time for another independence referendum.

“This is a time to pull together, not apart.

“A vote for any other party is a vote to weaken our Union, to weaken our negotiating hand in Europe and to put our future prosperity and security at risk.”

She claimed that Mr Corbyn’s statement that a second independence referendum would be “absolutely fine” showed he is “too weak” to stand up for the United Kingdom.

Speaking to activists in Edinburgh, the Prime Minister also warned that depending on the results of the General Election, the Labour leader could be “propped up by the Scottish nationalists”.

Mrs May told voters north of the border: “A vote for me and my team is a vote for strong and stable leadership.

“Every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in the negotiations to come.

“Every vote will help me get a better deal for the whole United Kingdom.

“And every vote from Scotland will strengthen my hand when I stand up for our United Kingdom here at home.”

She insisted “only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the strength and credibility to stand up to the nationalists and defend our United Kingdom”.

Mrs May was speaking at the launch of the Scottish Conservatives’ manifesto,which came a day after she unveiled the party’s General Election blueprint forthe UK as a whole.

That included a pledge to deliver a “strong and stable Union, with no divisive Scottish referendum at this time”.

The Tories in Scotland are seeing their popularity grow, with the party now ahead of Labour north of the border.

While the 2015 election saw voters elect just one Scottish Conservative MP, the party is now targeting several seats north of the border – and could even oust some high-profile SNP politicians including depute leader Angus Robertson.

Mrs May used her speech to hit out at the SNP’s “tunnel-vision obsession” with independence, claiming their record of 10 years in government in Scotland is in contrast with a “Unionist government at the service of ordinary, working families”.

With recent figures showing less than half of Scotland’s 13 and 14-year-olds are performing well in writing, the Prime Minister said: “After a decade of SNP neglect, standards in Scottish education – which were once the envy of the civilised world – have become a national scandal.

“The SNP’s tunnel-vision obsession with independence above everything else has meant young people in Scotland are being let down.

“Education might be a devolved matter – but I still care very deeply about the life chances of Scottish children.

“As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I care just as much about the futures of children from Ayrshire and Angus as I do about the futures of children in Kent or Carlisle.

“I want everyone in our country to have the chance to live secure and prosperous lives, and reach their full potential.

“That is because of a simple truth. Across the United Kingdom, we may be four nations, but at heart we are one people. We all have a stake in each other’s success.”