Tories have shifted towards ‘right-wing extremism’ since Brexit, claims Harvie

It came as the Scottish Greens launched their manifesto, which proposes a wealth tax and an end to oil and gas companies advertising.

The Scottish Greens launched their manifesto on Thursday
The Scottish Greens launched their manifesto on Thursday (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Conservatives have moved closer to “right-wing extremism” since the Brexit vote, Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie has claimed.

At the launch of his party’s manifesto in Edinburgh ahead of the July 4 General Election, Mr Harvie claimed a lurch to the “far right” is “inevitable” after polling day.

In recent years, the Tories have ramped up their rhetoric on issues like immigration as the electoral threat of Reform UK has increased.

Mr Harvie said: “In the UK, it seems that a realignment along the far-right looks like an inevitable consequence of this election.

“Alongside the growth of online radicalism and far-right conspiracy platforms masquerading as news outlets, this is a chilling threat to democracy.

“Even if it ends up wiping them out, the truth is that the Conservative Party itself has helped to create this.

“Since Brexit, they’ve shifted ever further toward right-wing extremism and their culture war against vulnerable groups has been one of the ugliest expressions of Tory politics in recent years.”

The Green leader went on to push for the next UK government to drop the Section 35 order blocking Scotland’s gender reforms.

He also pointed the finger at Labour, claiming the party has joined the Tories in “leaning into” far-right ideas “for years”.

Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie hit out at the Conservatives and Labour during the manifesto launch
Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie hit out at the Conservatives and Labour during the manifesto launch (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy accused Mr Harvie of going on a “hysterical rant”, adding that he leads “an extremist party who should never have been anywhere near Government”.

“The Scottish Greens reject the concept of economic growth and are vehemently anti-car and anti-oil and gas jobs,” he said.

“They were a disaster when invited into government by the SNP – with their botched bottle recycling scheme set to cost the taxpayer a small fortune in compensation and their damaging rent control policy exacerbating Scotland’s housing crisis.”

In the 56-page manifesto, the Greens outline plans for a wealth tax on the richest people in the UK, an end to oil and gas companies being able to advertise, and a stop on all subsidies for fossil fuels.

All public sector pension funds, the party said, should also fully divest from fossil fuels.

The party would also levy a private jet tax of £1,000 per head against those using their own planes to travel to or within the UK.

Also addressing journalists and party activists at the Edinburgh launch, Mr Harvie’s co-leader Lorna Slater said the world is “hurtling towards climate hell”.

She added new oil and gas licences are “a fast-track to climate breakdown”.

Mr Slater said: “They are incompatible with our climate commitments. Any party, or any politician, that tells you otherwise is – I’m afraid – simply denying basic climate science.”