PM triggers Scottish fury and conflict with Sturgeon after ‘branding devolution a crisis’
A row has erupted after Boris Johnson reportedly condemned devolution in Scotland, announcing it have been “a crisis north of the border”.
The top minister claimed it used to be Tony Blair’s “greatest mistake” and that whilst he in the past concept it used to be a good suggestion, he may just now not “see a case” for handing down extra powers to Holyrood, in keeping with The Solar.
Downing Boulevard didn’t deny the remarks have been made at a digital assembly with northern Tory MPs, and a Quantity 10 supply stepped in to elucidate them.
However that didn’t quit a livid response outdoor Westminster.
Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservatives chief, flatly disagreed with the evaluation, tweeting: “Devolution has now not been a crisis.
“The SNP’s continuous obsession with some other referendum – above jobs, faculties and the whole thing else – has been a crisis.”
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, is most likely to make use of the feedback as ammunition forward of subsequent yr’s Holyrood election, the place – if the SNP wins a majority – she’s going to press for some other independence referendum.
She tweeted: “Value bookmarking those PM feedback for the following time Tories say they are now not a danger to the powers of the Scottish Parliament – or, much more extremely, that they improve devolving extra powers.
“The one means to give protection to & fortify the Scottish Parliament is with independence.”
The timing of Mr Johnson’s feedback are in particular delicate as a result of the United Kingdom govt is making an attempt to go its debatable Interior Marketplace Invoice.
The draft law, which aside from making plans to damage world legislation by means of overriding the Brexit deal, has additionally sparked worry Westminster will take again some powers from Brussels following Brexit that the SNP say will have to be devolved.
Ian Murray, Labour’s shadow Scotland secretary, mentioned: “The Tories have at all times been a larger danger to the United Kingdom than any nationalist. Johnson with bells on.”
Making an attempt to quell the backlash, a Quantity 10 supply mentioned Mr Johnson “at all times supported devolution”, however that Mr Blair, beneath whom the Scottish Parliament used to be arrange, “did not foresee the upward thrust of separatists”.
“Devolution is excellent – however now not when it is utilized by separatists and nationalists to get a divorce the United Kingdom,” the supply mentioned.