Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins told BBC Newsnight that Boris Johnson will make Nicola Sturgeon’s place in Scottish politics insignificant and irrelevant. He claimed that the Prime Minister will “turn all of his fire to Scottish nationalism now” and halt its momentum. This comes ahead of Boris Johnson’s highly-anticipated trip to Scotland today to mark his first year in power.
Boris Johnson has praised the “sheer might” of the United Kingdom in the coronavirus crisis.
However, the visit comes after a recent poll for The Sunday Times found support for Scottish independence stood at 54 percent.
Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP are also on course for a landslide victory at next year’s Holyrood elections.
Despite this, Mr Tomkins believes Boris Johnson has the power to stem the tide of support for the SNP and Ms Sturgeon.
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He said: “I think Boris will be doing in the future to Scottish nationalism what he’s already done to the rather ugly variant of English nationalism that we saw with the rise of Farage and Ukip.
“Boris has made Farage an irrelevance in English politics, that’s tremendous.
“I’m delighted about that and I think he’ll turn all of his fire on Scottish nationalism now.”
Sir Tom Devine, an emeritus professor of Scottish history at Edinburgh University, warned that Mr Johnson’s visit comes during a “perfect storm” over Scottish independence.
Mr Johnson hit back, claiming he “pledged to be a prime minister for every corner of the United Kingdom”.
He added that the response to the pandemic had shown his Government’s commitment to the whole of the UK.
The Prime Minister singled out the UK’s economic response to the virus, including the coronavirus job retention furlough scheme.
The UK Government said the furlough and self-employment schemes had supported 900,000 jobs in Scotland.
Mr Johnson said: “The UK Treasury stepped in to save the jobs of a third of Scotland’s entire workforce and kept the wolves at bay for tens of thousands of Scottish businesses.”