BORIS Johnson looks to be the frontrunner and the most popular among Tory party members. He may well be our next Prime Minister.

Disregarding for a while his ability to lie about EU contributions during the referendum without reprimand, his plans for the UK economy do not bear even the briefest scrutiny.

He intends to reduce the point at which the higher rate of income tax kicks in from £50,000 to £80,000. He says he will pay for this by increasing employees National Insurance contributions. National Insurance rates are currently set at 12% for earnings between £166 and £962 a week. After that the rate drops to 2%.

The result of his policy will be to transfer the burden of taxation from those who can most afford it to everyone who is employed, and disproportionately onto those in lower-paid employment. It will deliver a windfall for the richest pensioners, who will benefit from the tax reductions but do not pay National Insurance, even if they are in employment. For a party whose stated policy is to make work pay, this is a retrogressive step. To divert this money to give a bonus to those who can most afford it is another example of the disregard for fairness and equality that is part of the inbuilt nature of the Tory government. National Insurance was introduced to pay for state benefits, such as the NHS and Income Support, not to allow lower rates of general taxation for society’s richest people. We need to get out from under as quickly as possible.

Pete Rowberry

NOT a Conservative party supporter, never have been and don’t expect ever to be, so with an obvious bias against all those standing to lead them, I nevertheless think any one of the 10 of those standing is exactly what the party needs to bring them down.

The fact that there are 10 of them demonstrates that the party really is on headless chicken mode. The significance of this selection is that it is primarily to select a Prime Minister, in their eyes, fit to fend off a General Election which they fear they would not win. Where does true democracy fit into all this? Nowhere!

Petty party infighting, fear of loss of personal ambition and party prospects with scant regard for social responsibility is driving this lot, like rats in a bucket going nowhere other than toward multiple self-destruct.

They hold onto Scotland to continue the deception they ply to the remainder, and indeed to the Scots themselves: too wee too poor etc, never mind the truth, honesty and the will of Scots themselves. Defend the indefensible at all costs as exposure would see an end to it.

We are right now witnessing 300 or so individuals taking a week or so to find two from a group of 10, then another month for 160,000 individuals to decide who shall be prime minister of UK.

What an undemocratic farce this is! Gee whiz, we had EU elections done and dusted inside a month, start to finish, and the country showed its feelings in no uncertain terms. Yet now we are stuck with this Tory bunch, with the clock ticking, tactically avoiding true democracy to allow the populace of the UK to determine for itself who should lead us out of the deepening mire.

Seems to me we are fast approaching take-bull-by-the-horns time to call a referendum in Scotland, with or without Westminster consent, and let them see where justice and democracy lies and where it leaves the decrepit UK.

Finished, out of its misery, sooner rather than later, as indeed it needs to be!

Tom Gray

I AM neither a Conservative nor a Unionist, but like all of us I have an interest in the race to be Supreme Leader.

Rory Stewart interests me, not because of his pedigree or because of his father who was Number Two in MI6. My interest in this young man comes about because he seems to be sensible. This is a rare attribute indeed amongst the runners for the post of Prime Minster.

I commend to any with an interest in foreign affairs Stewart’s book Occupational Hazards. His experiences in the Middle East led him to conclude that The Empire is over and that London should have no more imperial or post-colonial adventure. As we enter the 19th year of the war in Afghanistan we should reflect on that. We hear so little of our overseas adventures and of any plan to withdraw. Is Rory perhaps in the wrong party?

Hamish Kirk
Rothesay, isle of Bute

KATHLEEN Nutt’s article “FM will tell Europe Scots completely reject Brexit” (June 11) is a ray of sunshine in what is otherwise a dull, damp, driech day when the Tory leadership race takes centre stage. The candidates are promising all sorts of “bribes” including tax cuts for the wealthy and threatening not to pay the “divorce settlement” already agreed.

I trust that Nicola Sturgeon will be able to explore the possibility of Scotland staying in the EU until the result of Indyref2 is known, and also distance the Scottish people from the attitudes being expressed by the Brexiteers.

What also surprises me is that British football clubs would appear to be contemplating competing in next season’s Champions League and Europa Cup even if we leave the EU on October 31 with no deal.

Thomas L Inglis

IN reply to John Edgar’s letter (June 6) concerning what Richard Leonard might do if spurned by London Labour, could I suggest he contacts the Electoral Commission and applies to form a party called, for instance, The Scottish Labour Party, which does not exist on their list of registered political parties? Not that I wish to help in his position, but at least it might reflect some honesty.

Richard Easson