Boris Johnson ‘blocks plan to invite Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to Cabinet meetings because it would make her look too powerful’
- Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is said to have suggested the plan
- He wanted to use it to quell growing support for Scottish independence
- But MP vetoed it in case it made Sturgeon appear on his ‘political level’
Boris Johnson has blocked a plan to invite Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to Cabinet meetings for fear of making her look too powerful, it was claimed today.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is said to have suggested the plan to help smother support for independence by involving her in policy making.
But Mr Johnson vetoed the idea according to the Financial Times, with a source telling the paper: ‘He doesn’t like the idea of Sturgeon being seen as on the same political level as him.’
Ms Sturgeon has constantly been at loggerheads with Mr Johnson during the coronavirus pandemic, and prior to that they clashed repeatedly over Brexit, with was overwhelmingly opposed in Scotland.
A recent poll found 54 per cent backing for independence, following the 2014 referendum with returned a vote of 55-44 in favour of remaining in the UK.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is said to have suggested the plan to help smother support for independence by involving her in policy making
The poll was driven by a perception that Scotland’s semi-autonomous government has handled the coronavirus outbreak better than the United Kingdom government.
Yesterday Ms Sturgeon told the PM that he must ‘abide by all the advice’ on Scotland’s lockdown when he takes Carrie Symonds and baby Wilfred on their first family holiday in the country.
Mr Johnson, 56, his 32-year-old his fiancee and their three-month-old son are expected to go to Scotland for a ‘paternity holiday’ next week that could reportedly include some time camping.
The choice of Scotland, where the Tories are struggling ahead of next year’s Holyrood elections, marks the latest attempt by Mr Johnson’s administration to support the union and the domestic holiday industry.
At her daily press conference yesterday, Ms Sturgeon urged him and anyone else coming for a ‘staycation’ to follow local advice.
She said: ‘Whether it’s the Prime Minister or anyone coming to Scotland, I can’t wait for the date where I can say ”everyone come to Scotland and holiday” because we’re over the worst of this virus but right now we need to encourage everybody whether they’re living in Scotland or visiting Scotland to take great care.
‘So, whether it’s the Prime Minister or anybody else, when you’re in Scotland – and you should hopefully be doing this wherever you live – abide by all the advice.’
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