The revelation in a Techne UK poll for Express.co.uk, comes as Rishi Sunak has attacked his rival over her approach to tackling Nicola Sturgeon claiming, the Scottish National Party’s First Minister should not be ignored. The disagreement over how to keep the UK together has become another dividing line in an increasingly bitter Tory leadership contest.
In the exclusive Techne UK poll for Express.co.uk, 51 percent of the 1,624 respondents said they agreed with Ms Truss that Sturgeon should be ignored and was an attention seeker while a third (33 percent) disagreed.
The statement first made at a hustings in Exeter drew applause at the time for the Foreign Secretary who has had to deal with some of the world’s toughest politicians including representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.
She was applauded again when she said she would not apologise for the statement when confronted on the Sky News leader grilling by presenter Kay Burley after the SNP complained Ms Truss was “insulting Scotland”.
The sentiment about ignoring Sturgeon was strongest among Leave supporters with 87 percent wanting to ostracise the woman whose plan is take Scotland into the EU again without a referendum.
More than six in 10 Remainers (61 percent) disagreed with Ms Truss and did not believe that the Scottish First Minister should be ignored.
In all age categories, more people think Sturgeon should be ignored than not, but the strongest was among pensioners aged 65 and over with almost six in 10 (59 percent) of pollsters in that category backing Truss.
There’s one exception – her leadership rival Rishi Sunak.
He described Ms Truss’s approach as “dangerously complacent.”
Like outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson he agreed an independence referendum should be blocked but insisted that the SNP need to be held to account for their failures.
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He said: “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP pose an existential threat to our cherished Union. Arguing that we should ignore them is dangerously complacent.
“We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend they aren’t there – we need to stop them in their tracks. And that’s exactly what I would do as Prime Minister – holding the SNP to account for its failings and personally ensuring that the UK Government has a laser focus on delivering for every part of our United Kingdom.”
His team pointed out that as Chancellor, Mr Sunak ensured £41 billion per year for Scotland. When the pandemic struck, he implemented schemes that protected around a million Scottish jobs and saved thousands of businesses.
A YouGov poll found that 41 percent of Scots had a positive opinion of Rishi, giving him the highest rating of any Conservative politician in the poll.
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Among the SNP failures of Sturgeon’s Scottish government he wanted to point to were A&E waiting times in Scotland matched their worst level on record in April.
Diagnosis of early-stage cancer in Scotland has fallen to the lowest level in a decade.
Scotland has a very high drug death incidence compared to other European countries, with 1,330 people dying in 2021. This is only the first time that death by drug misuse has fallen in 8 years.
The Techne survey was carried out on August 3 and 4.