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I don’t trust politicians, admits Scottish Tory leader

Jackson Carlaw said he lost trust in politicians when Tony Blair made his case for the Iraq war.

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Jackson Carlaw said he does not trust politicians (Jane Barlow/PA)
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Jackson Carlaw said he does not trust politicians (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Lewis McKenzie, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw has admitted he does not trust politicians.

At an election campaign event in Edinburgh, Mr Carlaw was asked whether he thinks Scots can trust Boris Johnson.

He said he would judge Mr Johnson on the job he does as Prime Minister, but added that he trusts him to “deliver for Scotland”.

Mr Carlaw said: “I think we live in a less deferential age. I don’t trust politicians and I am one.

“And I know the day that I lost trust in politicians, it was when Tony Blair told us that there were weapons of mass destruction that were going to land in this country within 45 minutes and he took us into a war.

“Up until that point, I had always felt it fundamentally important that you trust a prime minister when he tells you your country is imperiled and it’s going to go to war.

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Jackson Carlaw was joined by former Tory leader Ruth Davidson for the election rally at the Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

“And we can’t, and I think that has led to people being much more questioning, not just of politicians but of journalists, of the NHS, in a way that they weren’t before, of the police in a way that they weren’t before.

“So in that sense I think people are much more questioning and less deferential than they’ve been, but do I trust Boris Johnson? I’ve said I would judge him on the job he does as Prime Minister.

“And in that respect, he has got the deal with the EU 27, he has put the union at the heart of this campaign, which is what I asked him to do, and he has included within the manifesto the very things that I wanted to see in there to the benefit of Scotland.”

Mr Carlaw outlined the importance of his party’s manifesto commitments, including an oil and gas sector deal, exiting the European Fisheries Policy, funding for farmers, a review of alcohol duty, and a cut in national insurance.

He added: “Yes, I do trust the Prime Minister to deliver for Scotland.”

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson also attended the campaign event on Wednesday.

The Edinburgh Central MSP said she had not appreciated the level of support for Boris Johnson in Scotland, having previously backed Sajid Javid in the Tory leadership election.

“If it’s a choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn propped up with Nicola Sturgeon, then I’ll vote for Boris Johnson every day of the week, twice on a Sunday,” said Ms Davidson.

“And I’m happy to go door-to-door in order to encourage others to do it because I’m genuinely frightened for this country of what Jeremy Corbyn with Nicola Sturgeon pulling the strings would do.

“I have found people who are very strong Boris supporters across the country, and it does seem to be what we used to call aspirational working class voters in Scotland.

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An animated Ruth Davidson said she has no doubts about asking people to vote Conservative on Thursday (Jane Barlow/PA)

“You speak to aspirational working class voters across Scotland in the way that I’ve been doing the last few years and there is a very strong support for him in some parts of this country in a way that I don’t even think I appreciated.

“But in terms of what he’s offering at this election, people said he couldn’t get a deal, he’s got a deal.

“There is a plan to move Brexit on to the next stage, he’ll stand up against independence, unlike Jeremy Corbyn who’s pretty much said he’ll flog his own granny to Nicola Sturgeon if she’ll put him in Number 10, never mind give her what she wants on indyref two.

“I am more than happy to go door-to-door to tell people to vote Conservative, and I have been every single day.”

PA

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