BORIS Johnson has turned down an invitation from Nicola Sturgeon for an in-person meeting at her official residence in Edinburgh later this week.
The Prime Minister is expected to visit Scotland in the coming days, although no details have been confirmed so far.
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.
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.