Scottish Tory politicians divided on who should replace Boris Johnson

Scottish Conservative politicians are divided over who should replace Boris Johnson in Downing Street.

Eight MSPs and two MPs have now signed an open letter insisting former chancellor Rishi Sunak is best placed to win the next general election and prevent any “dodgy backroom deal” between Labour and the SNP.

They also argued Mr Sunak is the best candidate to “end the division in our party”.

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Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Picture: PA

The letter in The Daily Telegraph was signed by the MPs John Lamont and Andrew Bowie, and the MSPs Jackson Carlaw, Maurice Golden, Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs, Dean Lockhart, Donald Cameron, Alexander Stewart and Liz Smith.

Mr Sunak trails opponent Liz Truss in the polls for the party’s leadership, but finished the first round with more support among MPs.

The group of backers played up his electability.

They wrote: “If we want to keep our country united, we must win the next election.

"A Labour-SNP pact would put the future of the UK at risk and would give the nationalists licence to divide Scotland all over again with a second independence referendum.

“We cannot allow that to happen, and the polls consistently show that Rishi is the candidate most likely to win the next general election and put a stop to any dodgy backroom deal.

"A second divisive referendum is the wrong priority for Scotland at the worst possible time.”

Both Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar have repeatedly rejected the idea of a coalition or agreement with the SNP after the next general election.

The group of Tories went on to say that Mr Sunak was the “best candidate” to deal with the cost-of-living crisis as well as deliver “leadership on the world stage”.

The former chancellor also has a plan to “kick the SNP Government out of office”, the faction said.

The article comes just 24 hours after nine Tory MSPs voiced their support for Liz Truss.

Writing in the Times, Finlay Carson, Sharon Dowey, Murdo Fraser, Rachael Hamilton, Liam Kerr, Stephen Kerr, Douglas Lumsden, Oliver Mundell and Graham Simpson described Ms Truss as a “heartfelt and passionate Unionist”, adding “with Liz as prime minister the Union won’t just be defended, it will be championed”.

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