The Scottish Tory leader, Douglas Ross, suggested on Friday that the Conservative Party may go into coalition with Labour to remove the Scottish National Party (SNO) from power at Holyrood, the Scotsman reports.
Ross said he would potentially “work with anyone and everyone” to attempt the imposition of Conservative policies and prevent a rising wave of nationalist sentiment.
In response to a question asking if his party would break a deal with the Labour Party following the 2021 Scottish election, the Conservative boss said he wants to "ensure that as many of the policies I am developing with my team right now can be enacted".
“I want to work with anyone and everyone to deliver the policies that will improve our education, will ensure our justice system is far fairer on the victims rather than the criminals, on ensuring it produces the jobs that people in Scotland need right now and will definitely need as we continue to face the consequences of this global pandemic".
“I will work with anyone and everyone on that issue", he added.
Ross described Nicola Sturgeon and the ruling SNP, who “want to separate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom” as “absolutely” the greater threat.
“They want to tear us apart from our friends, our family and our colleagues in England, Wales and Northern Ireland", he declared.
“This is a union that has delivered so much in the last 300 years, the most powerful economic and political union the world has seen. This is a union that delivers in times of crisis and in normal times as well".
Saying that he is "passionate about" a union that "two million Scots voted to remain part of just six years ago," he added that "this is a union that can continue to deliver for Scotland and Scotland can continue to benefit from being part of".
He urged voters to take a new look at the Scottish Conservatives under his tenure, having taken the top job in August after the resignation of Jackson Carlaw.
We’ve seen enough of SNP politicians on the TV talking up indyref2 next year.— Douglas Ross MP (@Douglas4Moray) November 20, 2020
It’s time to change the channel. Yesterday's local election win shows that @ScotTories are the only party who can stop them. pic.twitter.com/wQ5jT1AiBx
Scottish Conservatives have made marked shifts on some key national issues, including backing free university tuition for students.
Ross's comments came in an interview as the Scottish Conservative conference kicks-off, speaking during the the virtual event about his assertion that nationalism was a greater threat to the United Kingdom than socialism.
While Conservatives and Labour have historically been political rivals in Westminster and Holyrood, the rise of the SNP and an increasing support for Scotland's withdrawal from the UK are seen by the two major parties as an opportunity to unify over a rare point of agreement to remain within the union.
🏴 A new poll by @Scotgoespop shows support for Scottish independence at the highest ever point in a @panelbase survey.— Yes (@YesScot) November 12, 2020
Yes: 56% (+1)
No: 44% (-1)
🔎 It’s the 14th poll in a row showing majority support for YES.
✍️ Scotland must have a choice. https://t.co/1TBOd5pYT1 pic.twitter.com/RMGg3CBLdb
Labour was the largest party in Scotland until the 2015 general election, where discontented left-wing voters increasingly joined the SNP - a move largely credited as a response to the party's de facto alliance with Conservatives in the Scottish independence referendum earlier the same year.