London, November 17
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the devolution of powers to Scotland “a disaster”, a comment that played into the hands of Scottish nationalists pushing for an independence referendum that opinion polls suggest they could win.
Scottish leader fumes
- This shows why independence is better, says Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon
- PM’s spokesman maintains Johnson has always supported devolution
The bonds holding the United Kingdom together have been severely strained over the last five years by Brexit and the government’s handling of the Covid pandemic, and 14 recent polls have shown a majority of Scots now support independence.
In a video call on Friday with northern English lawmakers from his Conservative Party, Johnson said that devolution, introduced by Tony Blair had been the former PM’s “biggest mistake and a disaster”, media reported.
Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Conservatives’ public statements of support for devolution were duplicitous. Independence is the only way to protect and strengthen the Scottish parliament, she added. — Reuters