James O'Brien reacts to Truss's 'pathetic and bigoted' suggestion she'll 'ignore' Sturgeon if PM

2 August 2022, 12:59 | Updated: 2 August 2022, 13:06

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien reacts to Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss telling members that the best way to deal with Nicola Sturgeon is to "ignore her."

Speaking at the Tory hustings in Exeter, the foreign secretary also branded the First Minister of Scotland as an "attention seeker", which received a large applause from party members.

The PM frontrunner then confirmed that another Scottish referendum would not occur under her premiership.

LBC's James O'Brien accused Conservative members of "hypocrisy", stating that they "spent the last few years banging on about how important it is to respect democracy."

He accused Liz Truss of making these remarks because "she knows it will get a round of applause...[which] is the skillset that she's bringing to the table.

"I find that gross. I find the comments gross and the reaction despicable."

He branded it an example of the "narrowing target of bigotry": "It used to be foreigners in general, or just the brown ones, and then it includes the white ones if they're in Europe or Poland. Then France even and now Scotland."

James questioned why making these "pathetic and obnoxious" statements would appeal to the party members: "We've got the obvious Brexit-related observation that they're still campaigning in fantasy land.

"Why would insulting Nicola Sturgeon in such a childish and obnoxious fashion be something that Liz Truss correctly thinks will go down well with her base?

"I think she's telling Scotland to sod off."

Asked about the Scottish First Minister's call for a second referendum on Scottish independence, Ms Truss referenced growing up in Paisley before saying: "I feel like I'm a child of the union, I really believe we're a family and we're better together and I think the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her."

After branding her an "attention seeker" she continued: "What we need to do is show the people of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales what we're delivering for them and making sure that all of our Government policies apply right across the United Kingdom."

A prominent Liz Truss backer, Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, doubled down on the comments this morning, saying Ms Sturgeon was "waffling on endlessly about having a referendum", rather than focusing on "the failings of the Scottish government to deliver the services for the people of Scotland".

John Swinney, the deputy first minister and Sturgeon’s closest political ally, said Scottish voters would be “absolutely horrified” by Truss’s “obnoxious” remarks.

He said: "Unionist campaigners suggest that Scotland should be at the heart of the United Kingdom. How Scotland can be expected to be at the heart of the United Kingdom when the democratically elected leader of our country is, in the view of the person most likely to be the next prime minister of the UK, somebody that should be ignored is completely and utterly unacceptable."

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