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FM mocks idea of ‘mirroring’ Tory policies – as UK poll gives Labour 33-POINT lead

NICOLA Sturgeon has questioned “what planet” Liz Truss is living on after the Prime Minister suggested Scotland should copy her financial policies which have sparked turmoil – with the Tories polling a massive 33 points behind Labour.

The First Minister’s comments came after another day of economic chaos in the wake of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s “mini-budget” last Friday.

Thousands of mortgage products were taken off the market with predictions of the Bank of England raising interest rates to 6%, and the central bank was forced to step in to protect pension funds with a £65 billion package.

Truss had broken four days of silence with a large round of media interviews, beginning with a series across BBC local radio stations.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross ‘concerned’ about his mortgage – despite backing Tory mini-budget

Speaking to BBC Scotland, the Prime Minister said cutting taxes could “really turbocharge the Scottish economy” – despite the move having led to the collapse of the pound when implemented by her government.

Responding to the suggestion she should “mirror” Truss’s policies, Sturgeon wrote on Twitter: “Hard to know what to say to the suggestion I should mirror policies (tax cuts for richest) that have sunk the £, crashed the mortgage market, pushed pensions to the brink, imperilled public services & forced a Bank of England bailout.”

“What planet is the PM living on?” she added.

The news came as two separate UK-wide polls showed Labour with massive leads over the Tories.

The first, conducted on Thursday by YouGov, showed Keir Starmer’s Labour polling on 54%, with Truss’s Tories behind on 21%.

The polling company said it was “the highest [lead] of any recorded poll since the late 1990s”.

Sharing the poll, ITV’s Paul Brand added: “Already restless Conservative MPs will be counting their majorities and wondering if the PM and Chancellor might cost them their careers.”

Further YouGov polling found that just 11% of people said Truss was handling the economy “well”, compared to 76% who said she was doing so “badly”.

Compared to Keir Starmer, 44% of the public said the Labour leader would do a better job as Prime Minister, against just 15% for Truss.

A second poll came from polling firm Survation, who said the 21-point lead Starmer’s party enjoyed over the Conservatives was the largest Labour lead they’d “ever recorded”.

This poll, also conducted on September 29, put the Tories on 28%, with Labour ahead on 49%.

The news comes after another serious blow to the Chancellor, who it was revealed dismissed the opportunity of taking expert advice from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) ahead of his disastrous “mini-budget” last Friday.

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, revealed that he and the party’s shadow chancellor, Alison Thewliss, had written to OBR chair Richard Hughes about the matter.

In a letter that will do the new Chancellor few favours, Hughes responded: “As we set out in our letter to the Chair of the Treasury Committee on August 26, we took steps over the summer to prepare a forecast to coincide with the election of the new Prime Minister and any subsequent fiscal policy announcements.

“We sent a draft economic and fiscal forecast to the new Chancellor on September 6, his first day in office. We offered, at the time, to update that forecast to take account of subsequent data and to reflect the economic and fiscal impact of any policies the Government announced in time for it to be published alongside the ‘fiscal event’ planned for later in the month.

“In the event, we were not commissioned to produce an updated forecast alongside the Chancellor’s Growth Plan on 23 September, although we would have been in a position to do so to a standard that satisfied the legal requirements of the Charter for Budget Responsibility.”

The Treasury has been approached for comment.



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