Tory members’ poll ‘an utter disaster for Ruth Davidson’

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Keith Brown said the poll is a disaster for Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson (Jane Barlow/PA)

A poll in which a majority of Tory members said they would prefer Scotland to leave the UK rather than Brexit not happening is an “utter disaster” for Ruth Davidson, an MSP has said.

A YouGov survey of party members showed 63% would be prepared to see Brexit take place even if it meant Scotland leaving the UK.

The survey also recorded that almost half (46%) would be happy to see the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage as their new leader, while 61% would rather Brexit took place even if it caused “significant damage” to the economy.

Some 26% of Tory members in the poll said they would be happy to see Scotland leave the UK regardless of the outcome of Brexit.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the results show Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has little authority within her party.

“The Tory Party has clearly gone off the deep end – with their Brexit obsession pushing the party further towards the extremes,” he said.

“Tory members are so determined to deliver a damaging Brexit they are happy to watch our economy collapse and open the door of number 10 for Nigel Farage to take control of the UK.

“And far from prioritising the union, it’s clear Scotland means so little to the members of the Conservative and Unionist Party that two-thirds are happy for Scotland to become independent if it secures Brexit.

“With this poll suggesting that almost a quarter of Tory members in Scotland would prefer to deliver Brexit for their membership down south even if it means an end to the union, it’s becoming clearer that Ruth Davidson has little authority in her party in Scotland.

“This poll is an utter disaster for her and shows that her authority is seeping away at an incredible rate, leaving her increasingly isolated.”

Mr Brown added: “Scotland didn’t vote for this Tory Government – yet our future currently sits in the hands of small number of extreme hard-line Tory members.

“It is truly frightening to think these are the people that will be choosing the UK’s next prime minister.

“Scotland deserves much better than this.

“Westminster isn’t working and the only way to protect our interests is to escape this toxic political system by taking Scotland’s future into our own hands.”

Keith Brown
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the Tory party has ‘gone off the deep end’ (Jane Barlow/PA)

The survey also recorded that only 39% of Tory members would want Brexit to take place if it meant Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next prime minister, with 51% saying they would rather the UK did not leave the EU to avoid that happening.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Lesley Laird said: “The biggest threat to the union today is the Tory Party.

“Their members and their MPs would happily trade tearing our country apart in return for a chaotic no-deal Brexit.”

She added: “Nationalism in all its forms is preventing us from dealing with the issues that we face as a country. The UK is not working for far too many people.

“That is why we need to invest in our people, our communities and our public services across the UK.

“Only Labour is committed to standing up for Scotland’s place in the UK and against a no-deal Brexit.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said the poll was a “humiliation” for Ms Davidson.

“The Conservative Party is hopelessly cavalier with the future of the United Kingdom,” he said.

“This poll is a damning indictment of Conservative priorities and a humiliation for Ruth Davidson.

“What’s more, not a single Scottish Conservative MP has joined her in endorsing Sajid Javid.

“Whatever happened to their claim to be strong and united?

“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for Scotland at the heart of the UK and the UK at the heart of Europe.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Tories said: “Conservative members need to remember ours is a party of the whole UK.

“It’s in the name. If Scotland becomes independent, there is no UK.

“No matter how badly people want Brexit, no Conservative and Unionist member should be prepared to turn their back on the UK.”

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