Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Salmond slayer’ Colin Clark backs Liz Truss for next PM

Colin Clark.
Colin Clark.

The man who defeated Alex Salmond in the 2017 general election has backed Liz Truss to become the next prime minister.

Former Gordon MP Colin Clark, who was dubbed the “Salmond slayer” following the victory, said he wants to see the foreign secretary in the top job because she has the “long-term vision and ability to build bridges and unite the whole of the UK”.

Ms Truss has confirmed she would seek to block any future referendum on Scottish independence if party members choose her over former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The current favourite to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader said she would “do what is necessary and right to defend our Union”.

‘A natural leader’

Mr Clark, a former Scotland Office minister, said that while working alongside Ms Truss, he “saw up close her leadership abilities”.

“Liz is a natural team builder seeking to unify, not divide, and that is why I am supporting her to be prime minister for the whole of the United Kingdom,” he said.

Mr Clark stated that in his experience the leadership hopeful “understood the importance of the Union, business and job creation in every corner of the UK”.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are expected to come to Perth in August.

He also pointed to her career working for energy giant Shell before entering politics.

Mr Clark said this means Ms Truss “understands the industry, its importance to the Scottish economy, how dynamic and creative oil and gas companies are for existing legacy jobs and renewable energy jobs”.

He added: “Having lived in Glasgow and Leeds, Liz is not mesmerised by the southern English home counties, she believes in delivering a levelling up agenda, fixing schools and improving the NHS nationally.”

A ‘hands-on’ Unionist

The former Gordon MP said Ms Truss has gone “toe-to-toe with Putin’s henchmen” as foreign secretary and expanded export markets for whisky, technology and oil and gas support firms during her time as a trade minister.

“Liz is a hands-on Unionist rejecting the SNP’s defeatist grievance politics, promoting the entire UK as one united people and economy able to embrace change and see opportunities beyond our shores,” he said.

Ms Truss told the Sunday Telegraph she believes SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon “is now leading a campaign of deception to steamroller the UK and break up the union”.

Liz Truss

“Any Scotland independence referendum would need to be authorised by the Westminster Parliament,” she said.

“If I become prime minister, I would not grant that authority.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the comments show how “out of touch” Ms Truss and her leadership rival Rishi Sunak are with people across Scotland.

Former MP blocked from Holyrood bid

Mr Clark, who previously supported Boris Johnson to become leader and backed Brexit, lost his Gordon seat in 2019 to the SNP’s Richard Thomson.

He was then at the centre of an internal Tory row when he was blocked by former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson from returning to frontline politics.

His attempt to stand in last year’s Scottish Parliament election was rejected by Ms Davidson’s candidate committee because it said he had a “poor record working with others” and was guilty of a “lack of campaigning”.

Mr Clark told us he was “absolutely stunned” by the decision.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier