Boris Johnson has been accused of “running scared” of the Holyrood campaign after visiting the Hartlepool by-election but not Scotland which is just ninety miles north.
Keith Brown, the SNP deputy leader, said: “The Tories are simply chicken when it comes to putting their real boss in front of the people of Scotland. They are running scared of Scotland’s verdict on Boris Johnson.
“And it speaks volumes that the UK Prime Minister can make it to the north of England but not another ninety miles up the road to Scotland. No wonder the Tories think they couldn’t win a vote on Scotland’s future with Johnson in charge.”
Although Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross hinted early on in the election that Johnson would hit the campaign trail the Prime Minister’s unpopularity in Scotland forced a Downing Street rethink and excuses that pandemic rules made it hard for the party leader to travel.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak staged an intervention in the campaign with an interview on Monday, but that only served to highlight the PM’s continuing absence.
Ross was faced embarrassing the Prime Minister after he was cornered into saying that any politician found of breaching the Ministerial code should resign as Johnson faced sleaze accusations of taking undeclared donations for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.
Keith Brown said: “It’s hard to tell anymore whether Boris Johnson is refusing to be seen with Douglas Ross or if Douglas Ross is refusing to be seen with Boris Johnson in the hope Scotland will forget who really pulls the Scottish Tories’ strings.”
“Voters across Scotland know the Tories are planning fresh austerity – including a plot by senior ministers including the Scottish Secretary to slash spending, which would threaten public services, including our NHS.”