Boris Johnson is planning a patriotic staycation in Scotland – enduring the midges and monsoon-like weather to demonstrate his commitment to both the Union and the British holiday industry.
The Prime Minister – who chose the Caribbean for his last pre-Covid holiday, at Christmas – will head north of the border with fiancee Carrie Symonds and baby son Wilfred later this month, The Mail on Sunday understands.
It comes after Mr Johnson told the nation recently that the UK had ‘fantastic destinations, the best in the world’, adding: ‘All my happiest holiday memories are of holiday vacations here in the UK, bucket-and-spade jobs or whatever.’
The trip will coincide with the Queen’s own staycation at Balmoral, but Mr Johnson is not expected to see Her Majesty as part of the traditional Prime Ministerial end-of-summer visit because the 94-year-old Monarch is staying in a ‘bubble’ with the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, and a group of 22 trusted staff members to limit the risk of Covid infection.
The Queen has been holding her audiences with the Prime Minister over Zoom since the virus outbreak.
Downing Street is not disclosing details of the PM’s holiday for security reasons, but Mr Johnson is expected to remain in full charge of the country while he is away.
Mr Johnson’s recollection of happy childhood holidays was questioned last week by his sister, journalist Rachel, who wrote about her own – rain-sodden – holiday to Scotland.
‘I racked my brains to think which holidays he meant,’ she said. ‘The time it rained in Ireland or on Mull? Or one of the childhood summers in West Somerset, one of the wettest places in the kingdom?
‘I had tried to do my bit by staying on British soil. After the sacrifices so many have made for us in this pandemic, I made a promise I would not complain if the weather in Scotland was… Scottish.
‘For once, I was doing what the PM ordered. It was so cold that fires were lit at breakfast, I kept my coat on at all times, even in bed… if anyone suggests another patriotic staycation next year, they can take a hike.’
The holiday comes as Scottish nationalists have accused Mr Johnson of being in ‘panic mode’ about signs of increased support for independence, with two recent surveys finding that 54 per cent of respondents want to see Scotland split from the UK.