BORIS JOHNSON VISITS SCOTLAND AS CALLS FOR INDEPENDENCE GROW
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to visit Scotland on Thursday as questions arise over the strength of the union between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
Ministers in Johnson’s cabinet said he was visiting the country to monitor ongoing efforts to roll out the coronavirus vaccine, in comments to broadcasters. But reports in The Sun newspaper suggested his visit is to remind Scottish people of the benefits of being part of a broader union.
The reports came after polls revealed a majority of residents in Scotland wanted a referendum to decide if Scotland should remain part of the union, according to a report in the Sunday Times last week.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticized Johnson’s decision to travel to Scotland from his home in England as both countries have strict lockdowns in place, including stay-at-home orders.
On Thursday, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told the BBC the trip counted as necessary travel as Johnson needed to be "on the frontline" to make sure the vaccination rollout "is effective as possible."
But in a press briefing on Wednesday, Sturgeon told journalists: "I would say me travelling from Edinburgh to Aberdeen to visit a vaccine center is not essential. Boris Johnson traveling from London to wherever in Scotland to do the same is not essential."
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