Boris Johnson news live: Latest updates as PM to visit Scotland

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Nicola Sturgeon says Boris Johnson visit to Scotland not essential in pandemic.mp4

Boris Johnson’s visit to Scotland to extoll the benefits of the union have been labelled “futile” by the SNP, as opinion polls continue to indicate sustained support for independence.

The prime minister is to highlight the vaccine campaign and coronavirus support measures as he insists the benefits of “mutual cooperation” have never been clearer than since the start of the pandemic, having reportedly been warned by ministers not to seek to portray Scotland as “just a recipient of UK largesse”.

But SNP depute leader Keith Brown suggested Mr Johnson was merely in a “panic” at the prospect of IndyRef2, which Holyrood has threatened to hold without Downing Street’s permission. And Michael Gove was forced to defend the trip as “essential” during a pandemic, after Nicola Sturgeon urged the PM to “lead by example”.

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Gove inists Boris Johnson’s visit is ‘essential’ during pandemic

Michael Gove has been forced to defend Boris Johnson’s Scotland trip as “essential” travel despite the pandemic, after Nicola Sturgeon indicated she believed otherwise.

Naga Munchetty grills Michael Gove on whether Boris Johnson needed to go to Scotland

Andy Gregory28 January 2021 08:49

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Here’s the political quagmire into which Boris Johnson is wading today, with tensions mounting over calls for a second referendum and what shape it may take.

The prime minister has refused to say whether he would mount a legal challenge if Nicola Sturgeon presses ahead with a vote without the agreement of UK ministers

But the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, has insisted that politicians should boycott any “wildcat” referendum.

Andy Gregory28 January 2021 08:47

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PM highlights ‘great benefits of co-operation’ ahead of Scotland visit

Speaking ahead of his visit to Scotland, Boris Johnson said: “The great benefits of co-operation across the whole of the UK have never been clearer than since the beginning of this pandemic.

“We have pulled together to defeat the virus, providing £8.6bn to the Scottish Government to support public services whilst also protecting the jobs of more than 930,000 citizens in Scotland.

“We have a vaccine programme developed in labs in Oxford being administered across the United Kingdom by our armed forces, who are helping to establish 80 new vaccine centres across Scotland.

“That’s how we are delivering for the people of Scotland so we can ensure the strongest possible recovery from the virus.

“Mutual co-operation across the UK throughout this pandemic is exactly what the people of Scotland expect and it is what I have been focused on.

“The people of the UK have stood together during this pandemic: from our doctors and nurses in our hospitals to our shop workers, scientists, lorry drivers and teachers – working together as one truly United Kingdom is the best way to build our Covid recovery.”

Andy Gregory28 January 2021 08:41

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Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of events in Scotland today.

Andy Gregory28 January 2021 08:39

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