WITH news of Boris Johnson’s resignation finally confirmed by Johnson himself, many might be wondering who is poised to take his place. 

Despite heavy criticism, Johnson has announced his intention to stay in the position until this Autumn. A leadership contest for the next Tory leader and Prime Minister is then expected to be launched: but who’s in the frontrunning - and what are their views on Scottish independence?




The National:

Role: Former Chancellor of the Exchequer prior to his resignation this week. 

About: Recently Sunak faced scrutiny as it was revealed he held a green card for 19 months after taking up the role of chancellor. Additionally, his wife Akshata Murty – the daughter of one of India’s richest businessmen – claimed non-domiciled status in Britain, effectively saving her millions of pounds in tax as the cost-of-living crisis pushed families across the UK to the brink.

Views on Scottish independence: Sunak has previously claimed that independence is “not what people want”, and has claimed that the Scottish government are responsible for “imposing austerity” – despite levers to reduce this being reserved to the UK Government.



The National:


Role: Chancellor of the Exchequer (promoted from Secretary of State for Education following Sunak’s resignation). 

About: As an MP, Zahawi came under scrutiny for a second job he held at an oil company where he earned £1000 per hour – banking £1.3 million. Due to a Parliamentary loophole, excess earnings beyond this were able to be kept hidden. 

Views on Scottish independence: Zahawi has made his opinions on independence very clear. He has described the prospect of a Yes vote as a “catastrophically poor choice” for Scotland, and recently claimed that Scottish education is in “freefall”.




The National:


Role: Former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care prior to resignation.

About: Javid has been accused of dodging potentially “hundreds of thousands” of pounds of taxes prior to entering politics. In 2003 he co-owned the company SA Capital, and in 2005 was appointed director for one day. In 2005, SA Capital raised nearly £1 million in loans. Javid denied claims of tax avoidance, calling these “smear attacks”. 

Views on Scottish independence: Javid previously stated in 2019, "If I become PM, I won’t allow a second Scottish independence referendum. People stated views clearly in 2014, so there should be no second vote. Nicola Sturgeon should spend more time improving public services in Scotland, and less time grandstanding."




The National:

Role: Foreign Secretary

About: Liz Truss faced intense scrutiny after it was claimed that she splashed a staggering £500,000 of public money on….a private jet to Australia. She has also accused the Tory government under Boris Johnson of being….too “woke”. 

Views on Scottish independence: Unclear, however has previously voted strongly against further devolved powers being given to Scotland.




The National:


Role: Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee.

About: In his previous role as Health Secretary, Hunt oversaw the first strike in NHS history. This followed his comments and actions suggesting that the supposed “Monday to Friday” culture needed to give way to a 7 day a week culture – leading overworked medical staff to voice concerns over working conditions.  

Views on Scottish independence: Hunt has previously described himself as a Unionist with “every fibre of his being”, stating calls for a second referendum if he was made Prime Minister would be met with a “polite no”. He continued to claim independence would take Scotland “backwards”.




The National:


Role: Minister of State for Trade Policy

About: An ardent Brexiteer, Mordaunt stated that those interpreting Brexit as nationalist were “wrong”, continuing to state it was the will of “good British people”. Her voting record reveals that she has voted against integration, against rises to welfare benefits in line with inflation, and for more punitive immigration measures. 

Views on Scottish independence: Unclear, however has in past voted strongly against further devolved powers being given to Scotland.





The National:


Role: Secretary of State for Defence

About: Wallace came in fire for unearthed previous comments on torture, where he seemingly condoned the use of mock executions. He stated: “If that man had been given a cup of tea, would he really have told about his weapons under the floor?". In 2014, he voted against gay marriage.

Views on Scottish independence: Wallace is outspokenly against Scottish independence, and has claimed independence would make Scotland more vulnerable to “Russian aggression” and “terrorism”.




The National:


Role: Chairman of Foreign Affairs committee.

About: Although considered to be to the “centre” of the party, Tugendhat voted against feeding children free school meals over the summer, and against higher taxation on banks. 

Views on Scottish independence: Tugendhat has claimed that Scottish independence would “destabilise our whole nation”, threatening that it would also “make our enemies stronger”.