BORIS Johnson was “quite right” to turn down an invitation to meet Nicola Sturgeon in-person during his trip to Scotland, Douglas Ross has said.
The Prime Minister is visiting Scotland today, however little details have so-far been revealed about his trip.
The First Minister invited him to talks at Bute House to discuss coronavirus and the recovery from the pandemic.
But Mr Johnson has turned her down, while insisting he is keen to arrange an in-person meeting with Ms Sturgeon and the other devolved leaders soon.
Asked about the decision on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, the Scottish Conservatives leader said Mr Johnson was “quite right”.
He said: “She put out her invite to the Prime Minister via Twitter… I’m not sure if he got it before everyone else got it on Twitter.
“His response was quite right, Nicola Sturgeon had agreed with the Prime Minister that Governments across the UK would meet together… that’s the right approach to take and that was the agreement made recently.
“There’s constant dialogue between the Scottish and UK governments.”
In a letter to Ms Sturgeon, the Prime Minister wrote: “As I noted when we last met, I am keen to arrange an in-person meeting with you and the other first ministers and deputy first minister to build on the constructive discussions we had earlier this summer.
“We agreed then that we should establish a structured forum for ongoing engagement between the Government and the devolved administrations to deliver tangible outcomes in the interests of people throughout the UK.
“There is much for us to discuss as all parts of the UK work together on our shared priority of recovering from the pandemic.
“I understand our officials have made good progress on the details of this since we last spoke.
“I am particularly keen that we work closely together on the vaccination booster campaign this autumn which will be crucial as we continue to tackle the pandemic.
“The UK Government has procured millions of vaccines for the entire United Kingdom and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government as we roll out booster jabs in line with JCVI’s advice.”
He added: “The UK Government is working closely with the devolved Scottish Government on a variety of different issues.
“I know that you have been meeting regularly with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, but I look forward to meeting with you soon and working together in the interests of people in all parts of our country.”
In 2019, Mr Johnson was booed by protesters in Edinburgh as he arrived at Bute House for talks with Ms Sturgeon.
Earlier in the programme, Mr Ross said he is “still particularly worried that young people will be wearing masks when they return to school later on this month.”
He added “They’ve had a year-and-a-half of disrupted learning already… we do have to look at how this impacts on all pupils.”
Mr Ross was also asked whether the UK Government would offer furlough support if local lockdowns are imposed in Scotland in future.
He said: “The UK Government will look to support individuals and businesses here in Scotland, as they have through the pandemic.
“My reading is the UK Government will continue to support business and individuals if that is required but we’re in a far better place than we were a few months ago because of the success of the vaccination scheme.”