Boris Johnson is beginning a 2-day visit to Scotland, but will not meet the country’s First Minister for talks.
The Prime Minister is meeting with police officers and visit renewable energy projects. Labour’s leader Sir Keir Starmer is also in Scotland for a 2-day trip, beginning in Glasgow.
Nicola Sturgeon had invited the PM to her official residence to discuss Covid recovery, but that now will not happen. Instead, Mr Johnson has suggested a meeting with other first ministers at a later date.
In a leaked letter to Ms Sturgeon, Mr Johnson said he “was keen to arrange an in-person meeting” with her. He said that, at a previous meeting between them, it was agreed they should set up a “structured forum for ongoing engagement” – and officials had made good progress on this.
Mr Johnson wrote:
“There is much for us to discuss as all parts of the UK work together on our shared priority of recovering from the pandemic, the UK government is working closely with the devolved Scottish government on a variety of different issues. I look forward to meeting with you soon and working together in the interests of people in all parts of our country.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted on Monday that she had invited the PM to Bute House. She said the prime minister’s trip would be the first chance for the pair to meet in person for a while.
On Mr Johnson’s last trip to Scotland in January, Ms Sturgeon questioned whether the trip was essential during lockdown restrictions. Downing Street responded that it was important for the prime minister to be “visible and accessible during the pandemic.”