Jacob Rees-Mogg hits out at taxes imposed by SNP in Scotland
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Jacob Rees-Mogg took aim at SNP MP Stephen Flynn over his calls for a devolution debate. The House of Commons leader explained the UK taxpayers have given £12.12 billion to Scotland during the pandemic. He went on to brand Nicola Sturgeon’s Government as “rapacious” when it came to taxes.
Mr Flynn asked: “Should we not in this Parliament have a debate on the most important of issues, a tale of two governments?”
Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “The honourable gentleman is brave to bring to this house a discussion of two governments.”
He added: “I would point out that devolution has the benefit of the strength of the UK behind it.
“That’s why the UK taxpayer has provided £12.12 billion to Scotland during the course of the pandemic. UK taxpayers.
“I know the people of Scotland pay taxes, particularly high taxes because of the rapacious left-wing government that it’s got that it likes to take money from them but it is the UK taxpayer combined that has been able to provide this £12.12 billion.”
His comments come as Scotland’s First Minister has said she would have resigned had she been found to have broken the ministerial code, but said she would not be “bullied” out of her position as she defeated an attempt to oust her.
Nicola Sturgeon faced a vote of no confidence on Tuesday, brought by the Scottish Tories, who claim she misled parliament and ignored legal advice.
But the vote fell by 65 votes to 31 with 27 abstentions.
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James Hamilton, the independent advisor on the ministerial code, cleared the First Minister on Monday of a breach of the code, but a cross-party committee set up to look into the botched handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond voted by majority to conclude she misled parliament.
Speaking in the debate on the motion, the First Minister said had the Hamilton inquiry gone the other way, she would have quit.
“Had Mr Hamilton’s report gone the other way, I would have accepted it, had he found that I had breached the code in anything other than the most technical and immaterial of ways, I would have been standing here right now tendering my resignation,” she said.
“The integrity of the office I am so privileged to hold really does matter to me.
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“The office of First Minister is more important than any temporary incumbent of it.”
The First Minister also told the Tories: “If you think you can bully me out of office, you are mistaken and you misjudge me.
“If you want to remove me as First Minister do it in an election.”
She added: “If today’s desperate political stunt proves anything, it is that you have no confidence whatsoever in your ability to do so, because you have nothing positive to offer the Scottish people.”
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