Boris Johnson's replacement for David Mundell sends message to Scotland – Lesley Laird

Boris Johnson has fulfilled his childhood ambition to become ‘King of the World’ and it only took 0.2 per cent of the UK population to do it.

Boris Johnson has filled his Cabinet with hard-Brexiteers (Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson has filled his Cabinet with hard-Brexiteers (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

It’s no wonder he peddles fantasy – dealing with reality is far too difficult. Watching his performance at the Dispatch Box shows just what a nightmare this is and his choice of hard-right Cabinet incumbents reveals a chilling plotline.

If anyone had residual doubts about his determination to follow through on a hard Brexit by Halloween, the massacre of Theresa May’s Cabinet has shot that doubt to pieces.

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We have a new Home Secretary who unashamedly supports the death penalty; a Foreign Secretary who sparked fury by saying food bank users were “not languishing in poverty”; a Leader of the Commons who couldn’t be more of a Tory stereotype if he tried.

And there was no room for procrastinators, as Scottish Secretary David Mundell found out to his cost – a man whose only ambition was to save his own job and he couldn’t even manage that, and tellingly Ruth Davidson’s pleadings to Boris Johnson carried no influence. But to then be replaced as Scottish Secretary with a man, who on just being elected in 2017, asked my fellow MP Paul Sweeney to pair with him for voting so he could spend more time on his estate.

For unlimited access to Scotland’s best news, sport and expert analysis, SUBSCRIBE to The Scotsman website hereREAD MORE: Boris Johnson tells Scots: Work with me to save the UnionThese hard-Brexiteers, now the Cabinet, seem oblivious to the impact on the United Kingdom that their actions will have. The SNP are gleefully rubbing their hands as they see Boris Johnson as a great target for their independence dream. They will use any opportunity to break the Union that we chose to remain in only five years ago.

It is now Brexit at all costs. No thought to the plight of those on Universal Credit, no thought to those who will bear the brunt of the economic mess that No-Deal will visit on the country, no thought for anything other than defeating Farage and his band of Leavers.

Boris Johnson is a hard-liner and we know how well that worked for the working-class under Conservative idol, Mrs Thatcher.

Leaving on World Trade Organisation terms, with no agreed position, will be catastrophic for our economy – it will take years to get new trade deals. Meanwhile, people will have lost their jobs, their homes and their livelihoods.

In the next few weeks, it is all just going to tumble down. Boris Johnson will do his tour. Europe won’t change its position. Farage will be snapping at his heels. And Boris Johnson will be left with only one place to go. He will have to cut and run to a General Election – blaming Europe, blaming Parliament, for getting in his way to deliver on Brexit.

So when the Showman Boris Johnson and the Tory Circus rolls into your town at the next General Election, and believe me one is coming soon, put your cross against the party that is for the Many not the Few.

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Lesley Laird is shadow Scottish Secretary and Labour MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath