Sturgeon brands the Tory leadership contest a 'horror show'

PUBLISHED: 14:30 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:38 10 June 2019

Effigies of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Davis, are driven past the Houses of Parliament, London, ahead of the House of Commons. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

Effigies of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Davis, are driven past the Houses of Parliament, London, ahead of the House of Commons. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Scotland's first minister has branded the contest to succeed Theresa May as the UK's next prime minister a 'horror show'.

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Nicola Sturgeon spoke out after front-runner Boris Johnson unveiled a plan to give a massive income tax cut to higher earners south of the border.

The SNP leader stated: "What a horror show the Tory leadership election is. Tax cuts for the richest, attacks on abortion rights, hypocrisy on drugs, continued Brexit delusion. True colours well and truly on show."

Her comments came as the race to be the next Conservative leader officially got under way, with some of the candidates vying to succeed May launching their campaigns.

Michael Gove, the Scottish-born environment secretary, is battling to stay in the contest, after his admission of cocaine use led to calls to withdraw.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary who is now foreign secretary, said he was still in favour of reducing the legal time limit for abortion from 24 weeks to 12 weeks.

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Hunt used his leadership launch to warn that the Tories would be "annihilated" if the party fights a general election before delivering Brexit, as he pledged to lead Britain "through this time of crisis, deliver Brexit, and make our country walk tall in the world".

And both Dominic Raab and Esther McVey have come in for criticism after they refused to rule out suspending parliament in order to get a no-deal Brexit through.

Setting out his tax plans in his Daily Telegraph column, Johnson said: "We should be raising thresholds of income tax - so that we help the huge numbers that have been captured in the higher rate by fiscal drag."

But SNP MSP Angela Constance has hit out, saying: "Boris Johnson's priorities are all wrong - and this latest wheeze is an appalling insight into the future of the country if he gets his way.

"This proposal has more to do with appealing to Tory MPs than to meeting the very real challenges facing the UK. Yet, bizarrely, Boris Johnson remains front-runner to be the next prime minister."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has already backed home secretary Sajid Javid in the leadership race.

Davidson said Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, "embodies the Conservative values of aspiration, education, opportunity, hard work and just reward".

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