Mr Sunak spoke to Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford following the conclusion of his cabinet reshuffle. Following the conversation, the prime minister said it was “good to speak to” Mr Drakeford and Ms Sturgeon. He tweeted: “I emphasised our duty to work closely together to respond to the shared challenges we face, so that collectively we can deliver for the people of the United Kingdom.”
Ms Sturgeon said the call had been “constructive”, tweeting: “Constructive call with Rishi Sunak tonight. I expressed hope that we will build a UK/Scottish Government relationship based on mutual respect – including for mandates – and my fear that further austerity will do real damage to people and public services. I look forward to further engagement soon.”
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Following the call, a Scottish Government spokesperson said Ms Sturgeon congratulated Mr Sunak on his appointment and wished him well.
“She expressed her hope that political differences notwithstanding, they would build a constructive working relationship,” the spokesperson said.
“She made clear that the Scottish Government would do everything possible to establish such a constructive relationship but stressed that this must be built on mutual respect.”
Ms Sturgeon said the UK Government should “address the pressure” and pain being felt by people and businesses as a result of other economic pressures and further austerity could exacerbate the problems. It is understood Mr Sunak “assured” Ms Sturgeon the UK Government would engage with the devolved governments ahead of the Chancellor’s forthcoming budget statement.
Mr Drakeford said he took the opportunity to congratulate Mr Sunak on his appointment as prime minister. The Welsh Labour leader tweeted: “Tonight, I spoke to the Prime Minister. “A chance to congratulate the Prime Minister and discuss the importance of working together as four nations to address the urgent challenges we face as a United Kingdom.”
Earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon told the BBC’s political editor Chris Mason she had not had a conversation with former prime minister Liz Truss since she was appointed on September 6, other than “an exchange or two” at events following the death of the Queen.
“It’s quite absurd in many ways. When I became First Minister, David Cameron was prime minister and I think we spoke on the phone the first night I became First Minister,” she said.
Welsh government minister Jane Hutt said Ms Truss had not contacted Mr Drakeford during her brief spell in office.
During the summer leadership election, Ms Truss came under fire for saying she would “ignore” Ms Sturgeon. She said previously: “I think the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her. “She’s an attention seeker, that’s what she is.
Ms Truss had previously accused both Ms Sturgeon and Mr Drakeford as being part of an “anti-growth coalition” during her Conservative Party conference speech earlier this month.
She also listed Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, “militant” trade unions and climate change protesters as part of the so-called coalition.