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Liz Truss says Sinn Féin is 'trying to drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and Great Britain'

Truss made the comments as she attacked parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Image: PA Images

TORY LEADERSHIP FAVOURITE Liz Truss has claimed that Sinn Féin is trying to “drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and Great Britain”, as she criticised parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

In a statement last night, the woman leading the race to become the UK’s next prime minister accused politicians in the devolved administrations for “playing political games” rather than delivering for voters.

Truss said that if she succeeded Boris Johnson she would also take on the role of minister for the Union, a position created and  held by Johnson.

Truss, who grew up in Paisley in Scotland before moving to Leeds, called herself “a child of the union” and said she would put an end to “constitutional division” across the UK. 

She also hit out at the Labour administration in Wales for failing to invest in infrastructure and attacked Sinn Fein for trying to “drive a wedge” between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

“In Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein remains eager to drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and push themselves further and further away,” she said. 

In Scotland, instead of delivering on people’s priorities, the SNP are preoccupied with independence.

Her intervention came after she sparked controversy by denouncing Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as an “attention seeker” suggesting she would ignore her demands for a fresh referendum on independence.

Her comments were seized on by the SNP leader who said it showed Truss would ignore Scotland if she wins the race for the Tory crown in a ballot among party activists.

This week Sturgeon told an interview that Truss had asked her about “how to get into Vogue” after she told Truss she’d been in the fashion magazine twice. 

In a statement last night Truss insisted she would govern for the whole UK “family” if she gains the keys to No 10.

“Having grown up in Paisley before going to a comprehensive school in Leeds, I consider myself a child of the Union. When I say I will deliver for our country, I mean all of it,” she said.

My government would put the Union at the heart of everything it does and ensure that all corners of our country are rightly championed at the very top of government.

“For too long, people in parts of our United Kingdom have been let down by their devolved administrations playing political games instead of focusing on their priorities. If elected prime minister, I will deliver for our whole country.

She added:

We are not four separate nations in an agreement of convenience, as some would have us believe. We are one great country which shares a history and institutions, but also family and friends, memories and values.

“I would ensure that our entire family continues to get the attention, support, and investment that it deserves.”

Ahead of a visit next week to Scotland, she accused the SNP of being preoccupied with the issue of independence when, she said, they should be focused on averting a recession.

The SNP has hit out at the comments, accusing Ms Truss of having a “total disregard” for Scotland.

Truss has said she would invest in infrastructure throughout the UK, such as upgrading the A75 between Gretna and Stranraer and building the M4 relief road in Wales.

She said she would also continue to work to open up new export markets for products such as Scottish whisky and smoked salmon, Welsh lamb and ships from Northern Ireland.

The UK’s new prime minister will likely be confirmed when the results of the Tory ballot are announced when MPs return to Westminster on 5 September.

- With reporting from Press Association

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Rónán Duffy

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