The National:

JUST when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Liz Truss is to be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Silent during the race for fear of backing the wrong horse, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross quickly released a fawning statement praising Truss’s “record of delivery” – but only after her election.

The foreign secretary beat Rishi Sunak in a ballot of Tory members, winning 57% of the vote and the right to take over from Boris Johnson in No 10.

Truss will travel to Balmoral on Tuesday to be officially appointed prime minister by the Queen – after Johnson finally resigns.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon reacts as Liz Truss becomes Conservative leader

But a telling slip in her victory speech revealed a little more than she had perhaps anticipated about Tory support in Scotland.

After running through the usual fairytale spiel about how it’s an “honour” to lead the Tory Party and the “depth and breadth of talent” within it, Truss reserved some praise for her soon-to-be-former boss.

She said: “I would also like to thank our outgoing leader, my friend, Boris Johnson.

"Boris, you got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn, you rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin.”

She added: "You are admired, from Kyiv to Carlisle."

Only to Carlisle?

Why would Truss’s imagined admiration for Johnson stop at the Scottish Border? It could just have easily stretched from Kyiv to Kirkwall without losing any of the alliteration.

As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, the line was an "honest reflection" of Johnson's popularity north of the Border.

But, with a YouGov poll in late August finding that only around one-fifth of people in the UK think positively of Johnson’s legacy as prime minister – with 55% calling it either poor or terrible, it’s a bit of a stretch saying he’s admired at all.

That same YouGov poll found that 52% of UK adults expect Truss to be poor or terrible at the job as well – so it seems she really is the continuity candidate.

In a statement that characteristically focused on himself first, Johnson said: "I have been proud to serve as leader of the Conservative Party for the last three years, winning the biggest majority for decades, getting Brexit done, overseeing the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe and giving vital support to Ukraine.

"Congratulations to [Liz Truss] on her decisive win. I know she has the right plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, unite our party and continue the great work of uniting and levelling up our country. Now is the time for all Conservatives to get behind her 100 per cent."