Liz Truss must stand up to Nicola Sturgeon to save the Union, says Dan Wootton

There’s something to be said for calling out Sturgeon for what she is - a one track minded socialist whose independence obsession has cost Scotland dearly in so many ways

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The political establishment was predictably up in arms when the clear frontrunner in the Battle to Be PM Liz Truss decided to play the Scottish First Minister, Scheming Nicola Sturgeon, at her own game.

She didn’t for a second mean ignoring Scotland.

But there’s something to be said for calling out Sturgeon for what she is - a one track minded socialist whose independence obsession has cost Scotland dearly in so many ways.

But tonight, as the Tory leadership hustings moved to Perth in Scotland, we’re getting the meat on the bones of how Truss plans to save the Union – arguably the most consequential of challenges for whoever replaces Boris Johnson.

Truss says that Scottish people have been let down by the SNP focusing on constitutional division instead of their priorities.

She’s a “child of the union” having spent some of her formative years growing up in Paisley.

And, crucially, she insists she will hold Sturgeon to her promise that the 2014 referendum was a once-in-a-generation electoral event.

Truss got an early boost today when former Cabinet minister Alun Cairns, who served as Welsh secretary, became the third Tory MP to defect from Fishy Rishi Sunak to her campaign – because she is the candidate best placed to secure the future of the Union.

He wrote for Mail Plus: “As the campaign has developed, the risks to our Union have become more apparent.

"There is a need to break out of the current orthodoxy. The future of our Union depends on it.

"For this reason, I have concluded that with the positive ambition for our country and imagination she has shown, alongside her strong track record as a reformer, Liz Truss is best placed to secure our Union.”

Of course, it’s not just Sturgeon Ms Truss has targeted.

She has also been tougher than Boris or Sunak on the Welsh First Minister, Mad Dog Mark Drakeford, too.

Boris and Sunak tried to treat the First Ministers with kid gloves, hoping a collegial approach, especially during the Covid pandemic, would be appreciated. It backfired.

Sturgeon and Drakeford don’t care about the reality of the support provided to their nations by Westminster because they are on hair-brained political missions, to hell with how it impacts their citizens.

If she enters Number 10 as expected next month, Truss must expose that reality and prioritise saving the Union.