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Tories forced to backtrack after Johnson's devolution blunder

The PM is understood to have described handing powers to Scotland as ‘a disaster north of the border’

TORY ministers were forced to backtrack yesterday after it emerged that PM Boris Johnson described devolution as “a disaster” in a meeting with MPs.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News that was “not what the Prime Minister was saying,” instead stressing he was “very troubled” by nationalist attempts to split up Britain.

Mr Johnson is understood to have told Tories devolution had been “a disaster north of the border,” calling it “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake” and saying he could not “see a case” for handing down more powers to Holyrood.

Downing Street sources did not deny Mr Johnson made the comments during a discussion with the Northern Research Group of backbenchers on Monday.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard described the PM as the “biggest threat to the United Kingdom.”

The row comes only a month after the UK’s three devolved administrations raised concerns over the Westminster government’s UK Internal Market Bill, with MSPs describing the legislation as a “power grab.”

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