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The First Minister responded to reports that the Prime Minister had rubbished giving any more powers to Scotland. In response to Ms Sturgeon, Mr Ross, Scottish Conservative leader, lashed out for her prioritising independence amid the coronavirus pandemic. Ms Sturgeon has resurfaced calls for an independence referendum, as the motion is growing in support amongst Scottish voters.
Ms Sturgeon responded to reports from The Sun which claimed the Prime Minister had rubbished devolution.
Taking to Twitter, Ms Sturgeon said: “Worth bookmarking these PM comments for the next time Tories say they’re not a threat to the powers of the Scottish Parliament – or, even more incredibly, that they support devolving more powers.
“The only way to protect and strengthen the Scottish Parliament is with independence.”
It comes after the First Minister is campaigning for Scottish elections next year, which could see her consolidate her grip on Holyrood.
But Mr Ross has snapped back at the First Minister and the Prime Minister for their comments.
The Scottish Tory leader disputed Mr Johnson’s comments about devolution, and targeted the SNP leader for campaigning for independence amidst a national crisis.
He said: “Devolution has not been a disaster.
“The SNP’s non-stop obsession with another referendum – above jobs, schools and everything else – has been a disaster.”
Mr Johnson’s comments on devolution of powers to Scotland came in a video call with 60 Tory MPs in the Northern Research Group.
Speaking to the MPs, most of them new politicians winning northern seats in 2019, the Prime Minister lashed out at Scotland’s calls for more powers, adding there would be no more devolution from Westminster.
He is reported to have said that “devolution has been a disaster north of the border” and it was “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake”.
Mr Johnson also said that while he supported the policy as Mayor of London, he no longer can “see a case” for handing more power to Scotland.
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Mr Blair’s Government begun devolution of powers to Scotland in 1999, with former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron granting more powers in response to IndyRef in 2014.
Downing Street, when asked about the comments, did not deny Mr Johnson made the remarks.
They said: “The PM has always supported devolution, but Tony Blair failed to foresee the rise of separatists in Scotland.
“Devolution is great – but not when it’s used by separatists and nationalists to break up the UK.”
It comes as Ms Sturgeon has been blasted by Mr Ross for wasting public funding on tribunals over police officers.
Mr Ross said it was time the SNP leader stepped in to bring about a fairer system which would use taxpayers’ cash in a better way.
He tweeted: “People would rather see scarce budgets spent on frontline officers than on expensive lawyers.
“SNP must fix the broken system it created.”
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