The Tory candidate for one of many get together’s goal parliamentary seats has sought to distance himself from a column he wrote accusing Scotland of “fleecing” English taxpayers and claiming that Scotland remaining within the UK could be a “disaster” for England.
Ryan Henson was chosen final 12 months because the Conservative candidate for Bedford and Kempston, which Labour gained from the earlier Tory MP, Richard Fuller, in 2017 with a wafer-thin majority of 789 votes.
In a 2014 article for Conservative House, Henson wrote that, aside from its contribution to Britain’s armed forces, “Scotland’s single largest providing to the union over the previous 50 years has been to offer the Labour get together with parliamentary foyer fodder.
“In alternate, the folks of England have seen their prescriptions and their college charges go up, whereas in Scotland each have been abolished – utilizing English taxes to pay for it.”
A 12 months earlier than the SNP’s enormous good points within the 2015 basic election, he wrote: “Like a marauding tribe from the Darkish Ages, Scottish Labour MPs have travelled south each 4 years to pillage their hard-working, wealthier and extra politically sound neighbours. Sufficient is sufficient.”
“Scotland faces financial damage,” he added, “ought to it proceed with its socialist insurance policies after dropping the facility to fleece the Conservative-voting English taxpayers. It’s we English who bankroll her free well being prescriptions; fund everything of her kids’s four-year-long college programs; and subsidise her bloated, private-enterprise-killing, left-leaning public sector.”
He additionally mentioned that, after Scottish independence, the English economic system would thrive and that the English ought to say “what everybody’s actually pondering: Scotland, it’s time so that you can go”.
Final night time Henson mentioned the article had been supposed as satire. “This was supposed as a lightweight hearted tackle the Scottish Referendum marketing campaign, and was taken as such on the time. It doesn’t mirror my views – I passionately consider within the significance of the Union particularly at the moment.”
The revelations about Henson come at a troublesome time for the Conservatives in Scotland. Boris Johnson was jeered loudly when assembly Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in Edinburgh final week; whereas the Scottish Conservative chief, Ruth Davidson, voiced her opposition to a no-deal Brexit after her ally David Mundell was sacked by Johnson from the cupboard.
The SNP’s structure spokesperson, Pete Wishart, mentioned in an announcement: “These feedback are typical of the contempt for Scotland that’s more and more within the mainstream of the Tory get together – proper as much as, and together with, the prime minister, who himself has unfold the subsidy fable.
“Certainly, a current ballot discovered that – removed from being the get together of the union – most Tory members would now be pleased for Scotland to change into unbiased if that meant delivering Brexit.
“The Tories beneath Boris Johnson are utterly out of contact with Scotland. No marvel increasingly individuals are concluding that independence is the one method ahead.”
Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary, Lesley Laird, mentioned: “That is simply yet one more instance of the damaging nationalism taking maintain inside the Tory get together beneath Boris Johnson.
“Labour’s message is evident, the true division in society isn’t the division between Scotland and England. The true division is between those that personal the wealth and people who, by their laborious work and endeavour, create the wealth.”
The Conservative get together didn’t reply to requests for remark.