‘Absurd’ that Liz Truss still hasn’t even called her or Mark Drakeford says Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon has said that it is “absurd” that Liz Truss still hasn’t even called her, the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford or Northern Ireland’s Michelle O’Neill.
Both Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon have said that Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron all called them within days of taking office, but they are yet to hear from the new Prime Minister Liz Truss after over a month.
Nicola Sturgeon told ITV news that they had exchanged pleasantries during events to mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II but that the lack of an official meeting is “absurd”.
She said: “I’ll meet with her, I’ll speak to her, but let’s just underline how absurd it is that a UK Prime Minister doesn’t seem to want to work with – other than in rhetoric – the devolved administrations in the rest of the UK.
“I don’t know whether that is arrogance, lack of respect, or insecurity, or whatever it is. It’s not the right way to do Government in a grown up way.
“I hope we will see a change. I’ll do my best to work with Liz Truss as constructively as possible, or whoever comes after because we can’t take anything for granted in UK politics these days.
“I spoke to (the PM) David Cameron when I became First Minister within hours.
“I spoke to Theresa May and Boris Johnson shortly after they became prime minister. For reasons best known to herself, Liz Truss hasn’t engaged with the devolved administrations.”
The Welsh Government has also been vocal about a lack of contact by Nicola Sturgeon, with Minister for social justice Jane Hutt saying this week that the situation was very concerning.
“I am extremely concerned,” she said.
“I don’t believe there has been a call to the First Minister yet by this Prime Minister. The First Minister recalled only last week in the chamber that he had calls from both previous Prime Ministers on the day they were elected – Boris Johnson and Theresa May.
“Perhaps he might get a call from the next Prime Minister, who takes this Prime Minister’s place. The situation is so serious, in terms of the impact of policies in Wales and can I just say again that Lis Truss today has refused to rule out real-term cuts in welfare benefits.”
The relationship will have deteriorated further when the Prime Minister accused Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon of being part of an “anti-growth coalition” in her first speech as leader.
“Mark Drakeford in Wales is cancelling road-building projects and refusing to build the M4 relief road”, Ms Truss said. “Nicola Sturgeon won’t build new nuclear power stations to solve the energy crisis in Scotland.
“Have these people ever seen tax rises they don’t like or an industry they don’t want to control? They don’t understand British people, they don’t understand aspiration.
“They are prepared to leave our towns and cities facing decline.”
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