List of Tory leadership contenders should fill Scotland with fear

Later today, nominations will close for the Tory leadership contest, as hopefuls make their bid to replace Theresa May as the party leader and take over as Prime Minister.

This brief break from the more general chaos of Brexit gives MPs like me the time to reflect on the legacy of the outgoing May, as well as considering who could end up replacing her.

May signed up to be PM knowing fine well that there was a difficult job in front of her. She leaves the office utterly disgraced – as the Prime Minister who suffered the greatest Commons defeat in modern times and someone who united her party against her bad Brexit deal.

Before May had stepped into Number 10, she had a reputation from her time as home secretary.

As the architect of the “hostile environment” immigration system, she commissioned the infamous “Go Home” vans and announced xenophobic plans to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands – a baseless figure that she used to placate her party’s increasingly right-wing rheroric.

I faced May every week at PMQs, pressing her Tory Government on its appalling record of failure to deliver for Scotland. I don’t think I ever got a straight answer from her.

At every turn, she and her Government have let Scotland down, ignoring our people and locking Scotland’s Government out of crucial discussions that would shape our nation’s future.

During May’s tenure, the Scottish Parliament has faced a power grab from Westminster, battled against an unworkable and inhumane immigration system and has seen austerity accelerated.

Our block grant has been slashed and, shamefully, the Tories have tried to sell Holyrood as a place to mitigate the worst of Tory cuts rather than let the Scottish Government focus on devolved issues – showing their complete disregard for devolution.

Looking ahead at who is running to fill the vacancy in Downing Street, the list makes for depressing reading.

It’s a who’s who of those seeking to drive their party further to the right, taking the Tories – and the UK Government – further from the views of the majority of Scots.

Each of these would-be PMs is mired in controversy. From Islamophobia to sexism, and expenses scandals to workers’ rights, their views will spark concern with voters across the UK.

We all know Boris Johnson is no stranger to scandal – be it his insensitive comments about Muslim women or his unforgivable gaffes while foreign secretary – however, the other contenders are every bit as bad.

What is common to Johnson, Dominic Raab or Michael Gove and the rest is that they’d gladly drag Scotland out of the EU – inflicting huge damage on our economy.

But most worrying for Scots, many of the candidates have expressed their utter disdain for our Parliament – threatening to rip up the devolution settlement.

Scotland’s people, our parliament and our Government have been ignored by politicians in Westminster, who are more concerned about self preservation.

Scotland deserves better than this group of embarrassing, incompetent Tories – it’s time for Scotland to decide our own future.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.