NICOLA Sturgeon says the appointment of hardline Brexiteer Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader underlines the need for Scotland to "have the right to determine our own future".

The First Minister says her concerns about the new Tory leader will be shared "by the vast majority of people in Scotland".

Johnson will be appointed Prime Minister after he defeated Jeremy Hunt in a vote by 160,000 Tory members, taking 92,153 of cast ballots. Hunt took 46,656 of the votes.

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In his victory speech, Johnson thanked Tory members for the "extraordinary honour and privilege you have just conferred on me".

"I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision," he said.

"There may even be some people here who still wonder what they have done."

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Here is the First Minister's response in full:


“I congratulate Boris Johnson on his election as Tory leader and I will do everything possible to ensure that he respects Scotland’s views and interests. However, I have profound concerns about the prospect of his premiership and it would be hypocritical not to be frank about these. These are concerns that I am certain will be shared by the vast majority of people in Scotland who, had they been given any say, would not have chosen to hand the keys of Number 10 to someone with his views and track record.

“Mr Johnson should be in no doubt about the gravity of the situation he is about to inherit as Prime Minister nor, in particular, about the strength with which I and others will oppose his threat of a no-deal Brexit. “Brexit of any kind would be deeply damaging to Scotland and the rest of the UK, but his public pledge to leave the EU by October 31st – ‘come what may’ and ‘do or die’ – flies in the face of logic, common sense or any basic regard for the well-being of the people and nations of the UK.

“It is a deeply irresponsible threat, and not one that should be contemplated by any serious political leader. It should now be taken off the table without delay or equivocation.

“A no-deal Brexit would do huge damage to jobs, investment and living standards as well as posing serious and totally unnecessary questions on critical issues such as medical supplies.

“The Scottish Government will be at the forefront of all and any moves to stop Brexit and block a no-deal Brexit, as will SNP MPs in the House of Commons.

“We will be joined in those efforts by others from across the political spectrum – and the fact that Mr Johnson already faces strong opposition from members of his own party who oppose a No-deal Brexit underlines the seriousness of the position he finds himself in.

“Scotland did not vote for Brexit, or for the current Tory government – and certainly not for Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. All of this underlines the need for Scotland to have the right to determine our own future, in line with the democratic wishes of all those who live here.”