The SNP has said Boris Johnson’s nightmare Tory Cabinet is shaping up to be the “worst since Thatcher” – warning Westminster is becoming more extreme and out of touch with Scotland by the day.

Pete Wishart MP said the appointment of rabid right-wingers and extreme Brexiteers, had created a “cabinet from hell” that Donald Trump or Nigel Farage would be proud of, underlining that Westminster and Scotland are diverging further apart.

The SNP Shadow Leader of the House of Commons said the Tory Cabinet raised the Westminster threat to Scotland’s budget, devolved powers, relationship with Europe, and future prosperity.

With Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Stephen Barclay, Andrea Leadsom, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, Ben Wallace, Theresa Villiers and Michael Gove all confirmed, and even Jacob Rees-Mogg potentially getting a job – extreme views among Boris Johnson’s Tory government include:

  • Slashing Scotland’s budget – Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Andrea Leadsom, Owen Paterson, Claire Perry, Mark Field, John Redwood, and Christopher Chope are among Tory MPs who claimed Scotland is “heavily subsidised by the English” and called for reforms to the Barnett formula and cuts to funding.
  • Rolling-back devolution – Sajid Javid described devolution as “nothing short of constitutional vandalism”, pledged to block an independence referendum, and voted against transferring powers to Holyrood. Michael Gove suggested ripping up the devolution settlement by holding back funds at Westminster and spending directly.
  • Cutting taxes for the rich – Boris Johnson pledged to cut income tax for those earning over £50,000, in a move that would cost £9.6bn a year – hitting Scottish taxpayers and lower paid workers.       
  • Privatising the NHS – Michael Gove co-authored a paper calling for the NHS to be dismantled and replaced by a personal health accounts system, and Dominic Raab was in a private Facebook group advocating NHS privatisation.
  • Undoing workers’ rights and the welfare state – Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Chris Skidmore, and Kwasi Kwarteng were among Tory MPs who called UK workers “among the worst idlers in the world” and suggested a roll-back of workers’ rights and welfare reforms.
  • Reintroducing the death penalty – Priti Patel told BBC Question Time “I would support the reintroduction of capital punishment”
  • Attacks on women’s rights – Dominic Raab has claimed “men are getting a raw deal. Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots.”

Commenting, Pete Wishart MP said:

“Boris Johnson’s nightmare Tory government is shaping up to be the worst since Thatcher – packed full of extreme Brexiteers and rabid right-wingers who want to drag us back to a bygone era.

“Senior Tory Cabinet ministers have threatened to cut Scotland’s budget, roll-back devolution, and impose a devastating Brexit – that would inflict serious harm on Scottish jobs, living standards, public services and the economy.

“This is a Tory Cabinet from hell, which Donald Trump or Nigel Farage would be proud of – with members that want to scrap the Barnett formula, privatise the NHS, roll-back workers’ rights, undo the welfare state, cut taxes for the rich, and even bring back the death penalty.

“Westminster is becoming more extreme and out of touch by the day, while Scotland is being ignored and our interests are being side-lined. It’s no wonder that support for independence is growing and a majority want a fresh referendum.

“People in Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the Brexit Britain disaster being imposed on us by Westminster. It’s clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country.”


Notes for Editors:

SNP Westminster Press Office – 02072190074

Tory calls for Scotland’s funding to be cut

‘Boris Johnson: David Cameron’s pledge to Scotland is ‘reckless’’ – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11108429/Boris-Johnson-David-Camerons-pledge-to-Scotland-is-reckless.html

‘Dominic Raab calls for the scrapping of the Barnett Formula’ – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-29300774/tory-mp-dominic-raab-on-devolved-powers-across-the-uk

‘Tory MP Priti Patel sparks backlash after claiming independence debate is great opportunity to slash spending in Scotland’ – https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/tory-mp-priti-patel-sparks-1471711

‘Leadsom argued Scotland was ‘heavily subsidised’ by English’ – https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14608670.leadsom-argued-scotland-was-heavily-subsidised-by-english/

‘Politicians’ Scottish funding pledge brings anger from rest of the UK’ – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/16/politicians-scottish-funding-pledge-anger-daily-record

Opposing devolution

Sajid Javid described devolution as “nothing short of constitutional vandalism” and claimed it was only “done to shore up support for Labour.” https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13154884.culture-secretary-javid-is-under-fire-from-snp/

Sajid Javid claimed that if he becomes Prime Minister, he “won’t allow” a second Scottish independence referendum, leading Nicola Sturgeon to describe this view as a “democratic outrage.” https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-scots-won-t-accept-a-tory-prime-minister-telling-us-we-can-t-choose-future-1-4937365

Sajid Javid has almost always voted against transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24854/sajid_javid/bromsgrove/divisions?policy=6709

Michael Gove suggested the UK government should hold back tens of million of pounds from Holyrood and allow UK ministers to spend the cash directly in Scotland instead. He was widely accused of threatening to rip up the devolution settlement. https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/michael-gove-unveils-plans-to-take-control-of-holyrood-cash-1-4920727

Death penalty

Priti Patel – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/priti-patel-mp-who-is-the-new-treasury-minister-who-supports-death-penalty-and-rejects-plain-9608096.html

NHS privatisation
Dominic Raab – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dominic-raab-tory-housing-minister-facebook-group-workhouses-council-housing-a8213846.html 

In 2005, Michael Gove was one of a number of Tory MPs that co-authored a paper calling for the NHS to be dismantled and replaced by a personal health accounts system. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/aug/16/tory-mps-back-nhs-dismantling

Attacks on women’s rights
In 2011, Dominic Raab said “men are getting a raw deal. Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots.” When challenged by this on 2019 he stood by the comments.  https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/26/dominic-raab-defends-calling-feminists-obnoxious-bigots

Undoing workers’ rights and the welfare state

Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Elizabeth Truss, Chris Skidmore, and Kwasi Kwarteng were part of a group of Tory MPs that referred to UK workers as “among the worst idlers in the world.” The book also said the UK “rewards laziness” and called for a roll back of workers’ rights and welfare reforms: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19300051

While Brexit Secretary, it was revealed that Raab had called for the UK to use Brexit negotiations with the EU to scrap workers’ rights. Raab penned a paper calling for opt-outs of EU employment regulations, including those guarantee employees time off and limit the number of hours staff can be made to work. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dominic-raab-brexit-eu-workers-rights-uk-talks-brexit-secretary-a8438706.html

Tax cuts for the rich

Boris Johnson has pledged to cut income tax for three million higher earners, in a move that would cost £9.6bn a year – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-tax-cut-wealthy-tory-leadership-contest-conservative-party-a8951631.html