AFTER a fortnight of Tory MPs scuttling about Westminster deciding which candidate they would be backing as the next Prime Minister, they have conjured up Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss as the final two Tory leadership hopefuls. Boris Johnson’s chancellor and his Foreign Secretary – that’s the best they could do.

Both candidates have been instrumental in a lot of the problems we have seen over the last three years of chaos in Number 10. Both have been part of his Cabinet and nodded along with the catalogue of blunders that have come from the UK Government. Boris Johnson broke the law and should have resigned long before he did. It is disgraceful that they all suddenly found a spine and decided to pap him now that their necks are all potentially on the line. Not after countless scandals, the illegal boozy parties, not when electricity and gas prices began to double – but when the polls showed people in areas of England were starting to reject them, then and only then was it enough for them to push their leader.

It really has been comical at times and a real sight to behold watching the Conservative Party eat itself alive. Nadine Dorries, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Alister Jack look and sound like they have been attending the world’s longest funeral these past few weeks as they mourn Boris.

We are living in a reality where Rishi Sunak actually called Liz Truss a socialist in a live TV debate. They will truly say anything, regardless of whether they believe it, in the hope of gaining power.

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Their words have no meaning.

After months of having to endure them defending Boris Johnson, they quickly and shamelessly changed their tune to saying he must go. Then, after successfully ousting him, they give him a standing ovation in Parliament.

Meanwhile, here in Scotland – or is it Darlington, I always get them confused – has anyone seen Douglas Ross recently?

We saw the rise of the Tory grassroots favourite Penny Mordaunt, quickly followed by the demise of Penny Mordaunt. She sold out and backtracked on every value and opinion that had made her stand out from the crowd – and all to appease her Conservative colleagues. It is now obvious to see she was, in fact, just another Tory that would say or do anything to claw her way to the top.

Like many, I fear that no matter who wins out of the two remaining candidates, we are going to be subjected to more of the same and even worse. It’s as if by magic, the entire British media seems to have forgotten that Rishi Sunak also broke the law and was issued with fines for lockdown parties. We are being peppered with comparisons between Liz “the hand grenade” Truss and The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher both sitting on top of tanks – what is it with Tories and tanks? And of course, Mr Sunak has already admitted his admiration for Margaret Thatcher’s economic ambitions. It really is grim times.

Both candidates pulled out of scheduled TV debates because they knocked absolute lumps out of each other in the first one. At PMQs, Keir Starmer’s script had been written for him: all he had to do was read out quotes from each of the candidates trashing policies they have supported over the last 12 years they have been in power.

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We have – and still are – experiencing so much turmoil due to a hard Brexit, our recovery from the global pandemic and, of course, we are living through the worst cost of living crisis in recent memory. The Scottish Government has a mandate for an independence referendum that was given by the people who live here. The First Minister has set out how she wishes to proceed with that mandate. The contempt and utter arrogance that is shown by the UK Government in its denial to accept Scotland’s right to choose our own future only adds to our case for independence.

The exit of a Prime Minister does not change our circumstances here in Scotland. What we have witnessed over the last few weeks was just the tip of the iceberg, and Boris Johnson will inevitably be replaced by another out of touch member of the UK establishment that does not care about Scotland in Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss.

The chaos and suffering that the UK Government has already inflicted is not about to be undone just because we change from one prime minister to another – they have already proven time and time again that they do not have our best interests at heart, no matter who it is.

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Democracy is failing at Westminster, and now we all need to wait to see who a few thousand out of touch Tory party members decide is our next prime minister.

So, while the Tory membership, their supporters and the UK media salivate over this contest all summer, I believe now is the time for us here in Scotland to start getting mobilised ourselves for an independence referendum.