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Sunak outlines plans for Westminster encroachment into devolved powers

06 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Rishi Sunak. Photo Gareth Fuller. PA Images

Tory leadership candidate Rishi Sunak has outlined plans to extend the UK Government’s operations into devolved areas if he is elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party.

Speaking ahead of a visit to Scotland, Mr Sunak also said he intends to reform the UK Government’s union unit, which was set up by Boris Johnson last year in an effort to avert the prospect of Scottish independence, and pledged to put an end to “the Whitehall mentality of devolve and forget”.

The reformed unit, the former chancellor said, will ensure “every single” government department operates UK-wide, despite key policy areas like education and health having been devolved to the governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Laying out his plans for Scotland if he were to become prime minister, Mr Sunak said his government would be the most active in Scotland in decades by sending ministers to there more regularly and claimed, “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP pose an existential threat to our cherished union”.

“Arguing that we should ignore them is dangerously complacent,” he added.

“We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend they aren’t there – we need to stop them in their tracks”.

Extremists

Earlier this week, Mr Sunak’s camp floated plans to add people who oppose the country’s “very existence” to a list of extremists, potentially criminalising supporters of Welsh and Scottish independence and of a united Ireland.

Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts said comments “criminalising those who peacefully call for the independence of their own country – classing them as terrorists – is deeply worrying and bounding into the surreal.”

Mr Sunak is attempting to claw his way back into the leadership race, after a YouGov poll suggested that 60% of party members said they will vote for the foreign secretary Liz Truss to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

Just 26% said they would support Sunak, with the rest not having made up their minds.

53% of members also said that Conservative Ministers and MPs were wrong to force Boris Johnson to resign.

Supporters of Sunak however told the Times who conducted the poll that it was “notoriously difficult” to sample Tory members accurately.

A campaign source said: “We’re fighting for every vote, getting Rishi’s message out to the members, and the country and the reception he’s getting on the ground is really positive.”


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Quornby
Quornby
6 days ago

The Tory UK might be “cherished” by you Rishi…… It’s not worth a penny to your Celtic colonies……why not declare English independence and b**ger off?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 days ago

Every time he opens his mouth he chips away the Tory vote in Wales, I wonder what he thinks, feels and cares about the non-English residents of these Islands, HMS Brexit and the Pirate Crew have towed us into uncharted waters…

Crwtyddol
6 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

He thinks it is in his gift to control the SNP and Plaid, just as the Brexiteers considered it was in their gift to settle the terms of departure. They were wrong, as is he. This attitude will inflame passions in Wales and Scotland and will have the opposite effect he desires.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
6 days ago
Reply to  Crwtyddol

…. Just as it has in the Ukraine.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
6 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Sometimes I wonder if he is being paid by Plaid.

“Come on Rishi la, you know you’re not gonna win this. Here’s a few quid, just say some mad stuff so we can a bit of that angry voter demographic….”

I don’t mind some of my membership fee going into a black propaganda budget…and we all know that Tories will sell anyone out, from their own grandmothers to the entire country, if you offer them enough….

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

A bucket of Bae Abermaw crabs as imagined by Guy N. Smith, hands up who has read the Crabs series…The Night of the Crabs…not cheap…but set where the sea meets the land…”easy money, faithless politicians” doolin johnson rides again upon the shoulder of Brynhildr…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 days ago

Sunak uses the words ‘existential threat’ whilst threatening the existence and democracies of nations on this island. He has clearly given up on the idea that Wales and Scotland are ever going to swing in the direction of the Tories so he is now going for electoral wipeout and the tyrannical enforcement of dictatorship to sweep away our democratically conceived Parliaments and six times elected NON TORY governments. His problem is you cannot just decide to cancel democracy if it isn’t going your way and you cannot cancel peoples’ nations and their true national identities because they are held deeply… Read more »

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
6 days ago

If he, or indeed the dead-eyed, creepy-minded weirdo that is his opponent, believes that people are going to put up with this they are wrong. He desires to criminalise the people who marched for independence in Wrecsam the other month. The people on that march included political activists, politicians, men (cis and trans), women cis and trans), non-binary people, gender fluid people and of course one of the perennial victims of Tory spite and hatred: children. Tbh, I don’t think anyone can say that they feel safe for their families and loved ones when politicians are content to blithely use… Read more »

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
6 days ago

Are independence supporters ready for the struggle that is to come?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 days ago

The simple answer is Yes !

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
6 days ago

Many also regard break up of the United Europe as work of dangerous extremists.

Gareth
Gareth
6 days ago

The British establishment, In the past, have been among the first to criticise and talk down this type of rhetoric, now it is the norm for the Tory party to talk like this. This is another example of how far right they have gone, and how far they are willing to go, to appeal to the core membership in England, denying elected Govs the right to exercise democracy. Former ministers in Tory govs of the past have said this is an English nationalist party, and if people like Mr Drakeford think it is going away anytime soon,they have a big… Read more »

Glwyo
Glwyo
6 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

I’m sure we can look forward to Labour sitting on their hands like usual. Still I find the libdems more insufferable, with their insistence that reform of the UK is remotely possible.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 days ago

How ironic. We have Rishy Sunak, son of Indian economic migrants, threaten the people of Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland over their right to self-governance. This little England rhetoric from a man who arrogantly boasted recently how he took funding from poor areas and gave it to prosperous ones. A reverse Robin Hood so to speak. Take from the poor, give to the rishy. Also, voters forget. Sunak as a rabid advocate of Brexit slyly retained his American green card just in case like a rat he and his tax avoiding wife could flee Britain, the very sinking ship he… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Y Cymro
Glwyo
Glwyo
6 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Oh he doesn’t forget, he’s not stupid. He just doesn’t care. When you’re rich and loyal only to yourself you don’t tend to care about other people.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
6 days ago

This UK Conservative regime is behaving more and more like Vlad Putin’s regime in Russia.
They have already outlawed basic freedoms of expression, and is trying to wipe Ukraine, culture and language off the map.
These Putin-nites are coming for Wales – They are both Tories.

Notttabottt
Notttabottt
6 days ago

Some of the stuff he has said over the last few weeks is astonishing. Between the lines he is all but saying we need to re-colonise devolved nations an prevent them having any rights to independence. With diverting funds from poorer areas out right being said in the open, I would almost rather the thick one over the dangerous one.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 days ago

I’m so pleased we have the current Tory party ! They are such a great great asset to our independence movement. With any luck independence will happen far sooner as a result. And a special thanks to Rishi – keep it up mate !

Last edited 6 days ago by Steve Duggan

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