The SNP has slammed Scottish Tory leadership candidate Michelle Ballantyne for “Dickensian attitudes” and distracting from her own party’s woeful record in government at Westminster.
In an interview in today’s Mail on Sunday, the Tory MSP – who is running to be leader of her party in Scotland – vowed to slash the number of people on benefits through “tough love”.
Michelle Ballantyne (pictured below) has previously suggested she would back NHS privatisation, that “people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like” and claimed “there’s no such thing as a bedroom tax”.
She has also claimed she is currently working on “an alternative to free university education”.
Commenting, Christine Grahame MSP said: “This is yet more out-of-touch nonsense from Michelle Ballantyne, who is never afraid of broadcasting her patronising and Dickensian attitudes towards people on low incomes.
“The latest figures show that unemployment is low in Scotland and lower than in England.
“But because of Westminster cuts implemented by Ms Ballantyne’s party, many working Scots are struggling to get by.
“If Michelle Ballantyne thinks that ‘tough love’ will help people reliant on foodbanks, or sort out the shambolic mess that is Universal Credit, then she is profoundly mistaken.
“Yet again the mask has slipped to reveal what the Tories really think.
“In previous years, someone with Michelle Ballantyne’s views would have been kept on the backbenches – the fact she is running for the party leadership speaks volumes about the Scottish Tories in 2020.”