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Johnson told to focus on Covid-19 recovery rather than defending the union on his visit to Scotland

BORIS JOHNSON was told to focus on jobs, the economy and public health rather than discussing the constitution during his visit to Scotland today.

The Prime Minister travelled north to visit businesses, those working in the energy sector and military personnel in the Highlands and islands, as he claimed the coronavirus crisis has shown the benefits of the union working together.

However, Britain has been one of the worst affected countries, with tens of thousands of coronavirus deaths and mass unemployment as a result of lockdown.

And Mr Johnson’s focus on constitutional matters during his visit has been slammed, with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard urging him to use his visit “to listen and not to lecture.”

Mr Leonard said: “He must concentrate on jobs, the economy, public health – rather than getting involved in constitutional jibes. 

“Now more than ever, Scotland needs both governments to co-operate to tackle the crises which we face. 

“Our priorities must be securing our public health and securing jobs for good: guaranteeing jobs, creating jobs, and saving jobs like those under threat at Rolls Royce in Inchinnan."

The Scottish Greens hit out at Mr Johnson’s time spent defending the union, claiming the idea that those who have lost their jobs or homes will be “comforted” by his visit is “preposterous.” 

Co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “People want to hear of a meaningful extension to the furlough scheme, especially for those working in insecure jobs such as hospitality. 

“People want to hear how new sustainable jobs are going to be created [...] after this crisis. 

“Sadly, there is no chance he will show that kind of leadership.”

The STUC also stressed that social and economic issues are at the heart of supporting Scots, warning of further constitutional unrest if they are not faced. 

General secretary Roz Foyer called for an extension of the furlough scheme, a “proper” Green New Deal and an increase to the minimum wage to protect workers. 

She said: “The scale of the economic crisis we are facing is huge. Rather than insult the people of Scotland with his ignorance, he should focus his effort onto announcing concrete plans to rebuild our economy.

“[The Prime Minister] won’t be so jolly once he starts to see how workers in Scotland respond in the wake of his woeful response.”


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