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Former Tory chief says Conservatives no longer 'unionist'

Political analyst Andy Maciver expects the party to lose up to ten seats in Scotland.

Andy Maciver: MPs have rejected the Prime Minister's motion.
Andy Maciver: MPs have rejected the Prime Minister's motion.

A former chief for the Tories has said English nationalism "is coming", with the Conservatives no longer a "unionist party".

MPs have rejected the Prime Minister's motion to call a snap general election.

Boris Johnson's bid for an early election was backed by 298 votes to 56 against, with hundreds of abstentions from opposition MPs.

But under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the PM needed a two-thirds majority of MPs - a threshold of 434 - to pass the motion, leaving the government 136 votes short.

It amounts to the fourth parliamentary defeat in 24 hours that has been inflicted on Johnson's government.

Political analyst Andy Maciver, who was previously the head of communications for the Scottish Conservatives, told Scotland Tonight that the idea of English nationalism was no different to that in Scotland.

He said: "This has all been coming.

"English nationalism has been coming because it has been suppressed for 20 years while the other nations of the UK have had other assemblies and parliaments.

"But English politics has no assembly or no party.

"There is nothing wrong with English nationalism, it is no less legitimate than Scottish nationalism.

"But it has not had an outlet. This is what the strategy now is."

Mr Maciver expects the party to lose up to ten seats in Scotland.

He said: "The Tory party knows that it will lose eight or ten seats in Scotland. It will lose lots of seats to the Lib Dems in the south-west of England.

"And its aim is to win marginals and Labour seats in the north. That means it is not a Unionist party anymore."

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