Ruth Davidson will today criticise Britain for being “far too London-centric”, claiming Scotland must get more out of being part of the UK.
On the opening day of the UK Conservative conference, the Scottish Tory leader will demand that more government jobs are located north of the border.
Davidson will use her speech to flex her post- general election political muscle by saying that the economic imbalance between London and the rest of the country is “crazy”.
With 13 Scottish Tories returned to Westminster in June and Theresa May relying on the DUP for a majority, Davidson has become a key player in UK politics. She will say the UK needs “more Union spread evenly – and not just based in London”.
Davidson will add: “It’s wonderful that our small island nation plays host to the capital of the world.
“But the truth is for all the devolution of power in the last 20 years, our Union continues to be far too London-centric.”
She will tell the conference: “We live in a country where the property values of London’s top ten boroughs are worth more than all of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined.
“Where you can sell up a three-bed semi in Ilford, and buy half of Sutherland.
“Where, in a capital city already zooming forward on the jet fuel of high finance, the economy is further boosted by enough civil servants to fill Wembley stadium. It is time for change – to fulfil the plans we set out at the election this year, to give Britain a shake and spread more of our Union outside the capital.”
She will argue that “if our civil service and cultural bodies are to claim to be UK institutions, they must represent and be present across our whole United Kingdom”.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that Davidson wanted Scotland to have civil service offices, but “not have the powers to shape the services that they deliver”.