Tory chairman urges Scots to support England at the World Cup

A top Conservative politician has said that he will use a speech North of the border to urge Scottish football fans to get behind traditional rivals England at the World Cup in Russia next month.

Tory Minister Brandon Lewis. Picture: PA

Brandon Lewis, the Tory party Chairman, used a conference on Unionism in London to express his ‘eternal optimism’ that the other three nations of the United Kingdom would back Gareth Southgate’s side in Russia.

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Mr Lewis then revealed at the Policy Exchange event that he would take his plea for Scottish fans to support the ‘Auld Enemy’ in the 32-team tournament to an event north of the border next week.

The former immigration minister is due to speak at a Scottish Conservatives event, and said he would reiterate his view that British fans should support the country’s only representative in Russia.

He said he had “eternal optimism that all four nations might support England in the World Cup”.

Mr Lewis added: “I will definitely use that in my speech to the Scottish Conservatives next week.”

Many Scotland fans traditionally support England’s opponents during the World Cup - meaning there could be significant Tartan Army backing for Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia.

A poll in 2010 ahead of the World Cup in South Africa revealed that only 24 per cent of Scots would back England in the tournament.