Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticised Boris Johnson for saying that the coronavirus crisis highlighted the benefits of the United Kingdom remaining as one.
The Prime Minister visited Scotland today, where he sought to promote the value of the Union, praising the way administrations had collaborated during the pandemic.
He said: “The union is a fantastically strong institution, it’s helped our country through thick and thin, it’s very, very valuable in terms of the support we’ve been able to give to everybody throughout all corners of the UK.”
But Ms Sturgeon rejected the reference to the public health crisis in the on-going battle between Holyrood and Westminster over Scottish independence.
The SNP leader told a press conference: “I don’t think any of us, and I include myself in this, should be trying to use Covid, and the pandemic, and the crisis situation we have faced and continue to face, as some kind of political campaigning tool.”
Earlier today, Ms Sturgeon argued that Mr Johnson’s visit demonstrated her party’s raison d’être.
She: “I welcome the PM to Scotland today. One of the key arguments for independence is the ability of Scotland to take our own decisions, rather than having our future decided by politicians we didn’t vote for, taking us down a path we haven’t chosen. His presence highlights that.”
Mr Johnson was met by a small group of masked protesters brandishing signs that read “Hands off Scotland”, “Our Scotland, our future”, and “Indy Ref Now”.
The PM has once again dismissed cals for a second poll on Scottish independence.
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