Douglas Ross urged to whip Scottish Tory MPs against windfall tax extension

Douglas Ross has been warned he will be Scottish Tory leader in “name only” if he does not whip his MPs to vote against a windfall tax extension.

SNP MP Kirsty Blackman said the Moray MP faces being “humiliated” if he is the only Scottish Tory at Westminster to vote against the plans set out in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget.

Mr Hunt announced earlier this month that the levy on oil and gas profits will be extended by a further 12 months to 2029.

Mr Ross condemned the decision and said he will not vote for it when it comes before the House of Commons.

The SNP is not against a windfall tax and backs maintaining it at the 75% rate, and the party has a presumption against new oil and gas licences.

Ms Blackman, an Aberdeen North MP, said Mr Ross should force his “spineless” colleagues to join him in rejecting the extension.

The SNP politician said: “Douglas Ross must whip his spineless seven Tory MPs to vote against these damaging plans, which threaten to destroy jobs and investment across Scotland.

“Mr Ross has already been humiliated by the Tory Chancellor, who shafted Scotland with this policy. Now it looks like he’ll be humiliated again by his own MPs – making him leader in name only and raising questions over how much longer he can stay in his role, with no influence.

“Voters in Scotland are getting ready to kick the Tories out at the next election – and by voting SNP we can make Scotland Tory-free.

“Unlike Sunak and Starmer, the SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s interests, defend Scottish jobs and demand the best deal for Scottish families.”

Credit crunch anniversary
Kirsty Blackman described Tory MPs as ‘spineless’ (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“They have a nerve to try and play political games with the industry when Kirsty has herself stated that she is against granting new oil and gas licences, showing a blatant disregard for the livelihoods of her Aberdeen constituents.

“The SNP were also the first party to call for a windfall tax and it’s only a few months since Humza Yousaf was proclaiming the end of the industry in a speech in New York.”

He added: “Their ridiculous take is absolutely absurd and is an insult to people’s intelligence.”

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