Boris Johnson tries to save Union citing 'British spirit' of vaccine

Boris Johnson tells Scots to back the ‘great British spirit’ that delivered Covid vaccine rollout in his bid to save the Union

  • PM to answer Scottish independence calls with successful vaccination drive 
  • He will  try to put new confidence in Scottish Tories that the SNP not unbeatable
  •  Words come as feud between Sturgeon and Salmond said be damaging party

Boris Johnson will today put the ‘great British spirit’ that delivered the Covid-19 vaccine rollout at the centre of his bid to save the Union.

The Prime Minister will answer calls for Scottish independence by invoking the successful UK-wide vaccination drive.

In a speech to the Scottish Tory ‘virtual’ conference by video link, he will condemn the SNP for seeking to split the UK and turn families against each other, just as ‘everything is beginning to re-open again’.

Mr Johnson has already made clear that he will not grant a second independence referendum even if the SNP triumphs in next month’s Scottish Parliament elections

The SNP has been rocked by the feud over the Sturgeon-led SNP government’s handling of sexual assault charges against Mr Salmond, which were all dismissed by a court last year

He will also try to put new confidence in Scottish Tories that the SNP ‘are not as invincible as the pundits believe’.

His words come amid signs the feud between Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and her predecessor Alex Salmond is damaging the party’s push for a second independence poll.

Mr Johnson has already made clear that he will not grant a second independence referendum even if the SNP triumphs in next month’s Scottish Parliament elections.

Now he will cite the success of the vaccination rollout as proof we are better off together, saying: ‘It shows that the great British spirit that saw us through so much adversity in the past lives on in us today.’

He will contrast that with the SNP ‘obsession’ for another referendum seven years after Scots voted to reject independence.

The SNP has been rocked by the feud over the Sturgeon-led SNP government’s handling of sexual assault charges against Mr Salmond, which were all dismissed by a court last year.

In the Commons this week, MPs will have their first opportunity to use parliamentary privilege to discuss the row. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis is expected to say the Holyrood parliament lacked the powers to get to the truth of the affair – and call for it to be given Westminster-style powers.

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