LIZ Truss had defended her comments vowing to "ignore" Nicola Sturgeon - less than an hour after she insulted another devolved leader.

The Tory leadership contender was asked at the Tory leadership hustings in Cardiff if she would ignore Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford in the same way she would Scotland's First Minister.

Speaking to Conservative Party members, the former foreign secretary labelled Drakeford a "lower energy Jeremy Corbyn" while vowing to "crackdown on his negativity" about the UK.

It's the second attack on a UK leader after she called Sturgeon an "attention seeker" at a previous leadership hustings.

The South West Norfolk MP's campaign team later backtracked on the comments, insisting she would work with the Holyrood government.

Despite this, when asked if she would ignore Drakeford like she would Sturgeon, Truss didn't deny she would ignore the Scottish FM.

Truss said the situation was different in Wales compared to Scotland.

She said: “I think it’s a very different situation in Scotland and Wales because what’s happening in Scotland is that the entire resources of the Scottish Government are being used to run essentially an independence campaign and I think that is grossly irresponsible.

“The Scottish Government are not delivering for the people of Scotland. They are simply spending their time, and Nicola Sturgeon is spending her time, agitating for independence.

“And the time I was making the point that the UK should be doing what we are doing which is delivering for the people of Scotland, whether that’s driving jobs and investment in Scotland, whether it’s delivering a strong foreign policy and defence policy that protects the entire United Kingdom, that’s what we should be doing in Scotland.

“The problem we’ve got in Wales, and I mentioned Mark Drakeford earlier, is that the opportunities that are being brought forward by the UK Government are not being taken up.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak, who is Truss's only opponent in the leadership race, said at the Wednesday hustings the UK Government would have a "more active presence" in Wales under his leadership.

Sunak saw the backing of the former leader of the Tories Lord Michael Howard who spoke about his reasons for endorsing him for leader ahead of Sunak’s appearance on stage.

Lord Michael compared Sunak to former Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

He told the hustings crowd in Cardiff: “I knew Margaret Thatcher. I had the privilege of serving in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet. I want to tell you one or two things this evening about Margaret Thatcher.

“She hated inflation. So does Rishi Sunak. She hated the thought of increased borrowing, so does Rishi Sunak. She would never have countenanced unfunded, irresponsible tax cuts. Nor will Rishi Sunak.

“Margaret Thatcher always told the truth. She didn’t tell people what she thought they wanted to hear. She tells them the truth. And so does Rishi Sunak.”

He added: “We have the opportunity of electing a prime minister who can provide the leadership we need not only in this country, but across the wider western world.

“The people of Wales, especially Welsh Conservatives, are wise. We have good sense, we have good judgment, and that is why I am confident that we will choose to lead us, to inspire us, to take us to a great and glorious future. Our next prime minister, Rishi Sunak.”