SCOTTISH Tory leader Douglas Ross has said he is working “flat out” to ensure Rishi Sunak continues as Prime Minister.

As the General Election campaign enters its second full week, Ross heaped praise on Sunak, as well as drawing comparisons between his party’s two major rivals.

The SNP and Labour, he claimed, are “very similar” in policy areas including gender recognition and the North Sea.

“I’m working flat out to make sure Rishi Sunak is returned as Prime Minister, because what we can see is the Labour plans – here in Scotland and across the UK – will be deeply damaging,” he told the PA news agency during a campaign visit on Monday.

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“We know in many areas their policies are very similar to the nationalists, be that … Anas Sarwar whipping his MSPs to support the Gender Recognition Reform Act.

“When the SNP have introduced tax rises, many of them have been supported by Labour here in Scotland.

“Of course, on the future of the oil and gas industry, the two parties are very much alike – they want to turn off the taps, turn their back on the north-east of Scotland, and that’s totally against what the Scottish Conservatives stand for.”

Labour has said it is against new licensing for exploration in the North Sea but on a visit to Scotland last week leader Keir Starmer said they would not “turn the pipes off immediately”.

The National: Douglas Ross has defended a plan from Rishi Sunak to use the UK Shared Propserity Fund to pay for aPrime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) with Douglas Ross (right) 

The current SNP position is a presumption against granting new licences which do not meet environmental tests, although the final policy of the Scottish Government will be announced when its energy plan is published.

Asked about how he thinks the Prime Minister has done since the campaign began, Ross highlighted his visit to the north of Scotland in the 24 hours after announcing the election would be held on July 4.

The Scottish Tory leader was at a bus depot in Glasgow on Monday as he announced his party would back a £2 cap on bus fares in its manifesto.

The policy would “improve the opportunities for people to use public transport,” he said.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie described Ross’s comments as “a shameless attempt to dodge the wrath of Scots”.

“The Tories can try to distract from their damp squib campaign launch but ultimately it’s the voters who will have the final word,” she added.

“This General Election is an opportunity for change from a broken status quo that Scots cannot afford to miss.

“A Labour government will make work pay, cut bills, renew public services and revive our economy by creating 69,000 jobs in clean energy industries.”

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While Tommy Sheppard, the SNP’s candidate for Edinburgh East and Musselburgh said: “The fact that Douglas Ross is campaigning to put Rishi Sunak back in Number 10 tells you he cares not one jot about Scotland.

“Rishi Sunak and the Tories’ legacy will be austerity, Brexit and the cost of living crisis – which is exactly why voters need to vote SNP to get rid of this Tory government.

“Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party offers no alternative for Scotland either.

“Today, the Labour leader showed where his priorities lie today – in investing billions of pounds in nuclear weapons rather than helping struggling households through the cost-of-living crisis.”