BORIS Johnson launched a stinging assault on the government of Nicola Sturgeon, saying that there would not be a single Covid 19 vaccine in Scotland if the SNP had its way.
A private virtual meeting of the Tory backbenchers’ committee is thought to have told the prime minister that the mass implementation of the vaccination program was a “British effort” and because of the union’s power. His criticism of the SNP is suspected to be an allusion to what would have happened had Scotland been independent.
In the virtual session, one MP said, “The prime minister essentially made the point that the UK is a big country and that we have enough clout to get the vaccines out. He even said that the rest of Europe is ahead of us.”
“He said that not a single vaccine would have been administered in Scotland if it were up to the SNP. In other words, it was a UK initiative and needed the clout of a big government.
Asked about the remarks of the prime minister, at a briefing in Downing St, his press secretary said, ‘It is not my position to comment on private meetings…. I haven’t been there and I haven’t heard the conversation.
But there is no question on the wider point of the vaccine that the Union was crucial in the vaccine’s growth, production and administration. We have all worked together to provide for the British people in a variety of measures taken by the British government during this pandemic.
“I think Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday that they have 100,000 vaccines in Scotland, which is great news for the Scottish people, but it was a collective effort.”
“I don’t know the answer to that question, but as I’ve said before and will say many times, I can’t comment on a private meeting I wasn’t at.”I don’t know the answer to that question, but I can’t comment on a private meeting I haven’t been at, as I have said before and will say many times.
However, she said, “I don’t think it’s about the EU or anything else.”
Ms. Sturgeon yesterday indicated that her government had acted “much sooner” than Johnson’s to bring the recent Covid surge under control.
That’s one of the ways in which Scotland differs from the UK, but also the fact that we agreed to act far earlier in the curve of this wave of the pandemic to get it under control, referring to her decision to close places of worship in Scotland while holding them open in England, the First Minister said.
“We are trying to act as cautiously as possible at the moment to prevent the situation from getting any worse,” she said.