Tory Tensions

The Sunday Times today carries some extremely interesting comments from Essex Tory MP Andrew Rossindell.

“For the union to continue to be strong and survive there has to be a balanced situation between England and Scotland,” he said.

“We need to strengthen the United Kingdom and therefore the government should recognise that England has concerns about funding, and about the way things are run.

“Whoever is prime minister has to ensure that there is a balance in the government in terms of who gets what jobs and how it’s all handled, particularly on the funding, because there is that perception that there is an imbalance.”

As the ST points out, the official policy is that, in order to safeguard the union,  the Tories would continue with plans to increase funding to the Labour-led Scottish Executive, while presumably cutting services in England to fund tax cuts.

It’s hard to believe this would be carried through in reality. Given the relative strengths of the Conservatives in England and Scotland such a policy would surely stretch Tory unionism to breaking point.

Incidentally, Scotland on Sunday has a story that the Tories are preparing for a hung parliament which could lead to ‘constitutional uproar’. A Tory majority in England could theoretically be one element of this.

However, at the moment the latest polls seem to show Labour on course for a solid majority.



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