SNP divisions exposed as Blackford declares he doesn’t ‘detest’ Tories

PMQs: Truss shuts down Blackford over energy

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Ian Blackford has denied suggestions he “detests” the Conservative Party, in wake of unprecedented statements made by Scotland’s First Minister. Speaking from Aberdeen, Nicola Sturgeon made clear her attitude towards the Tory Government as she declared she loathed the party and “everything they stand for”. The SNP Westminster did not echo the comments of his party leader but suggested he “understood” why the First Minister had spoken in such dramatic terms.

Speaking on The News Agents podcast, Emily Maitlis asked: “Do you detest the Tories, Ian? – Which is what your boss, Nicola Sturgeon, says.” 

Blackford promptly replied: “No, I don’t.”

He continued: “I detest the impact that they are having on real people’s lives but I try and take the personality of the person out of it. 

“At the end of the day, it is the impact of the policies which is important.”

The statements of the SNP Westminster Leader come after Nicola Sturgeon targeted the Conservatives in a scathing attack during a BBC interview.

The Scottish First Minister said: “If the question to me is, would I prefer a Labour government over a Conservative government, I detest the Tories and everything they stand for. 

“It is not difficult to answer that question – yes.”

Mr Blackford was asked if he thought the First Minister had gone “too far” in her criticism of the Tory Party.

He responded: “I can understand why the First Minister spoke in the way that she did in the context of where we are today. We’re talking about how this is going to affect people.”

Read more: Sturgeon betrayed as LBC caller says IndyRef2 ‘to get rid of’ SNP

During the BBC interview in the midst of the SNP conference, Nicola Sturgeon also faced difficult questions over her relationship with Liz Truss.

Laura Kuenssburg asked the Scottish First Minister if she considered the Prime Minister a “friend or foe”.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “We are political opponents, but I have always tried to work with her predecessors and I will try to work with her. 

“I would like to be a friend on the basis of the areas where we can work together constructively.”

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Tensions have flared between the First Minister and Liz Truss after the SNP leader suggested the Prime Minister had made no effort to contact her since assuming office.

Ms Sturgeon launched another attack on the Prime Minister in a speech to the SNP Party conference. The First Minister said: “It took the Tories three years to realise Boris Johnson was a disaster, with Liz Truss it took them just three weeks.”

Her fiery statements come at a pivotal period for the SNP as the Supreme Court is hearing the case for holding a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Nicola Sturgeon has already pledged to hold a second vote on the 19th October 2023, although the matter has been referred to the Supreme Court to decide if the Holyrood Government can move forward without Wesminster’s backing. 

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