Nicola Sturgeon: Conservatives can't be trusted on Scottish devolution

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Nicola Sturgeon has warned the Conservatives' record in government suggests they can not be trusted on devolution if the party retains power at Thursday's general election.

Nationalists believe the Tories have consistently used the on-going constitutional row over Brexit as a smokescreen for a power grab – planning to take control of powers in devolved areas as they return from Brussels.

Nicola Sturgeon said the Conservatives could not be trusted on devolution

Nicola Sturgeon said the Conservatives could not be trusted on devolution

It followed the publication of the Tory manifesto which said that “after Brexit we also need to look at the broader aspects of our constitution” and pledges a commission to draw up plans for reform.

UK Treasury minister Michael Gove suggested earlier this year that Westminster could start spending cash in traditionally devolved areas which he believed would strengthen the Union.

READ MORE: 'Tory victory will set stage for huge power grab'
Speaking while on the campaign trail in Coatbridge yesterday, the First Minister told The Scotsman: "I think on the basis of our experience over the last few years - granted, not all of that Boris Johnson was PM - people should be very concerned about the devolution settlement should the Tories win a majority.

"We have already seen they are prepared to ride roughshod over the powers of the Scottish Parliament if shows any sign of getting in the way of what they want to achieve on Brexit. And as we go into the whole process of trade deals, I think they would be even more willing to clampdown on our powers if that was necessary to get a trade deal with Donald Trump, for example.

"I don't think a Conservative Government could be trusted to respect the devolution settlement in any shape or form."

But Conservative MSP Annie Wells said her party had "invested hugely" in Scotland.

She said: “As Nicola Sturgeon knows fine well, the Conservatives in government in the last five years have invested hugely in Scotland.

“From city and region deals, to shipbuilding and millions in Barnett Consequentials, the First Minister should be thanking the UK Government.

“Had we listened to her, Scotland’s public finances would be in a desperate state, meaning tax rises, more borrowing and brutal cuts to public services.”