Rishi Sunak takes swipe at Sturgeon over ‘driving lessons’
Rishi Sunak has mocked the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon over the financial scandal which is consuming the party as he made his first speech in Scotland as Prime Minister. Appearing at the Scottish Conservative conference Mr Sunak referenced the motorhome which police have taken as it investigates donations to the SNP.
Mr Sunak told the audience that “a lot has changed” since they lost gathered referring to the major defence alliance with Australia and the USA as well as Britain joining the trans pacific trade partnership with the fastest growing economies in the world.
But he added: “And Nicola Sturgeon has quit [First Minister’s residence] Bute House to take up driving lessons – someone has got to drive that motorhome after all.”
However, he warned that the SNP is “still distracted” with its obession to push for independence.
Doubling down on his references to the piolice investigation the Prime Minister added: “If the SNP can’t fix the mess Nicola Sturgeon left their party, how on earth can they sort out the mess Nicola Sturgeon left [Scottish] public services.”
The speech was referencing the Police Scotland investigation into the SNP which has already seen the party’s former treasurer Colin Beattie and its former executive Peter Murrell, who is Ms Sturgeon’s husband, arrested.
There has been speculation that Ms Sturgeon herself could be the next to be arrested as the police look at disappearing finances, confiscated a motorhome parked in Mr Murrell’s mother’s driveway and reportedly are looking at so-called burner phones.
Mr Sunak also made it clear that he intends to play hardball with the SNP over its demands for yet more powers for Holyrood.
Taking questions from members of the Scottish Conservatives after his short speech, the Prime Minister said that he did not intend to listen to those who are pushing him to devolve more.
He told the audience: “All this talk of needing more powers isn’t appropriate. The SNP don’t use the powers they have already got.”
Earlier this week, SNP Scottish First Minister met Mr Sunak in London for the first time since replacing Ms Sturgeon.
However, Mr Sunak’s speech made it clear that none of Yousaf’s demands on more powers and another Scottish independence referendum will be accepted.
With the sNP facing the loss of public funds in Westminster over a failure to audit their accounts, Mr Sunak made another jab at their current problems and record in Scotland.
He said: “The SNP can’t find auditors for their party [accounts], but we can audit their record in government.”
Asked about another referensum, he added that even Mr Yousaf had “admitted there has not been a consistant majority for independence.”
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