Boris Johnson accused of 'running scared' of Scottish voters amid questions over election visit


Boris Johnson accused of ‘running scared’ of Scottish voters as Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross admits he is ‘not sure’ the Prime Minister will campaign in Scotland ahead of May’s Holyrood elections

  • Ross said today that he was ‘not sure’ Mr Johnson would come north to campaign
  • Scots Tory boss had ‘previously expected’ UK party leader to come to Scotland
  • PM visited Scotland in January, when the coronavirus pandemic was raging

Boris Johnson was accused of being scared of Scottish voters today as the country’s top Tory admitted the Prime Minister may not visit to support his election campaign.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said today that  he was ‘not sure’ if Mr Johnson would come north ahead of the Scottish parliamentary election on May 6. 

Mr Ross, who is himself seeking a Holyrood seat, said he had ‘previously expected’ the UK party leader to come to Scotland.

But in a BBC radio interview today he said the coronavirus pandemic, and restrictions imposed as a result, made it a ‘very different’ type of campaign. 

However, Mr Johnson visited Scotland in January, when the coronavirus pandemic was raging across the UK at a far higher level than it is today. A ‘stay at home’ order was in place, with people told only to make necessary trips.

Responding to Mr Ross’s comments, the SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: ‘The fact Boris Johnson is being kept away from Scotland in this campaign, despite previously pledging to visit, shows the Tories know just how unpopular he is with Scottish voters. 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said today that he was 'not sure' if Mr Johnson (pictured yesterday in Cornwall) would come north ahead of the Scottish parliamentary election on May 6.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said today that he was ‘not sure’ if Mr Johnson (pictured yesterday in Cornwall) would come north ahead of the Scottish parliamentary election on May 6.

Mr Ross, who is himself seeking a Holyrood seat, said he had 'previously expected' the UK party leader to come to Scotland.

Mr Ross, who is himself seeking a Holyrood seat, said he had ‘previously expected’ the UK party leader to come to Scotland.

Boris Johnson previously defended his decision to visit Scotland in January (pictured) during lockdown. The Prime Minister said he travelled 'in my capacity as Prime Minister of the whole country'

Boris Johnson previously defended his decision to visit Scotland in January (pictured) during lockdown. The Prime Minister said he travelled ‘in my capacity as Prime Minister of the whole country’

‘We were told just last week by Ruth Davidson that she was ‘ringing the alarm bell’ for the union, but Boris Johnson must not be hearing it as he cannot even bring himself to come to Scotland to make the case. 

‘Running scared of the people of Scotland is becoming a theme within the Tories.’

Mr Johnson is notoriously unpopular in Scotland. A poll last October found that Scots’ ‘loathing’ for him was behind a surge in support for independence

JL Partners found he was even more unpopular than Theresa May and David Cameron when they were leaders. 

Boris Johnson previously defended his decision to visit Scotland in January during lockdown.

The Prime Minister said he travelled ‘in my capacity as Prime Minister of the whole country’ after visiting Glasgow to highlight the UK-wide fight against coronavirus.

His flight from London saw him reported to Police Scotland by separatists, with officers clearing him to undertake the ‘working visit’.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme about the Prime Minister, Mr Ross said: ‘I am not sure he is going to come up.

‘I had previously expected him to come up. Clearly as we continue to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic this whole election is very different.

‘Clearly it is a different election than any of us have experienced before.’

With four weeks to go until polling day, he said ‘we will have to see what happens’.

Mr Ross added: ‘Last time he was up here he was supporting our vaccinators, he was looking at how we are getting the vaccine rolled out across Scotland, the successful scheme across all of the United Kingdom.

‘Now we are in an election campaign it is very different. He wouldn’t be coming up to speak to a big meeting or doing a massive visit as previous leaders have done.

‘It is very different. We have seen all the party leaders in Scotland having to tackle this election in a very different way because we are still living under significant restrictions.’

He said: ‘The Prime Minister is fully in touch with what we are doing here, but he understands it’s my campaign as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, it is our manifesto, he is absolutely behind what we are doing here in Scotland, but he knows our fight is as Scottish Conservatives and he is backing that as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.’

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.