Rishi Sunak could win the next general election and stop a deal between the SNP and Labour, 10 Scottish Tories said as they announced their support for the former chancellor.
Sunak currently trails opponent Liz Truss in the polls for the party’s leadership, but finished the first round with more support among MPs.
On Tuesday, 10 MPs and MSPs from north of the border, including former Scottish leader Jackson Carlaw, announced their support for Sunak.
MPs John Lamont and Andrew Bowie along with MSPs Maurice Golden, Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs, Dean Lockhart, Donald Cameron, Alexander Stewart and Liz Smith also supported the former chancellor.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the group played up his eligibility, which they claim would stop a deal between the SNP and Labor that would secure a second independence referendum.
Both Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar have repeatedly rejected the idea of a coalition or deal with the SNP after the next general election.
“If we want to keep our country together, we have to win the next election,” the Tories said.
“A Labour-SNP pact would put Britain’s future at risk and would give the nationalists permission to re-divide Scotland with a second independence referendum.
“We cannot allow that to happen and the polls consistently show that Rishi is the candidate most likely to win the next general election and put an end to any dodgy back room deals.
“Another divisive referendum is the wrong priority for Scotland at the worst possible time.”
He knows that competence and prosperity are not only a recipe for Conservative success across Britain, but also for beating the SNP
Group of Scottish Tory politicians
The group went on to say Mr Sunak was the “best candidate” to deal with the cost of living crisis as well as deliver “leadership on the world stage”.
The former chancellor also has a plan to “kick the SNP government out of office”, the faction said.
“He knows that competence and affluence is not only a recipe for Conservative success across the UK, but also for beating the SNP,” they added.
“He has a plan that will work for Scotland and the whole of the UK.
“He wants to increase support for the Union by supporting shared infrastructure and by investing in communities, delivering schemes and projects that work for them.
“He has already laid out plans for how to reduce crime, build the housing we need, to tackle the NHS backlog and much more.
“Under Rishi, the management of the UK economy will be based on sound financial planning and improving productivity through improving skills and embracing new technology.
“This will ensure long-term credibility and ultimately prosperity, not just for this generation, but for future generations.”
The article comes just 24 hours after nine Tory MSPs voiced their support for Liz Truss.
Finlay Carson, Sharon Dowey, Murdo Fraser, Rachael Hamilton, Liam Kerr, Stephen Kerr, Douglas Lumsden, Oliver Mundell and Graham Simpson described Mrs Truss as a “warm and passionate Unionist”, adding “with Liz as Prime Minister. The Union will not just be defended, it will be championed”.