Johnson not planning Scotland visit to campaign for Scottish Tories

Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor
·2-min read

Boris Johnson is not due to visit Scotland ahead of next month’s Holyrood elections, the Scottish Conservative leader has said.

Douglas Ross admitted he does expect to be joined on the campaign trail by the Prime Minster as his party seeks to deprive the SNP a parliamentary majority after May 6.

Mr Ross has previously played down the prospect of Mr Johnson travelling north of the border to campaign for the Scottish Conservatives despite him staging numerous events for local elections in England.

On Monday morning, the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, said the coronavirus pandemic was making visits “more challenging than they would be otherwise”.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross during the Scottish Conservative party manifesto launch for the Scottish Parliamentary elections (Jane Barlow/PA)

Asked whether Mr Johnson was planning to campaign in Scotland, Mr Ross said: “I spoke to him last night, he’s absolutely behind our efforts here in Scotland to stop the SNP majority, to focus on recovery.

“But to answer your question, I don’t expect to see him before the election on May 6.”

Mr Johnson last visited Scotland at the end of January, when coronavirus levels were much higher and a “stay at home” order was in place, with people told only to make necessary trips.

Earlier this month, Mr Ross said: “Last time he was up here he was supporting our vaccinators, he was looking at how we are getting the vaccine rolled out across Scotland; the successful scheme across all of the United Kingdom.

“Now we are in an election campaign it is very different. He wouldn’t be coming up to speak to a big meeting or doing a massive visit as previous leaders have done.

“It is very different. We have seen all the party leaders in Scotland having to tackle this election in a very different way because we are still living under significant restrictions.”

He said: “The Prime Minister is fully in touch with what we are doing here, but he understands it’s my campaign as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, it is our manifesto, he is absolutely behind what we are doing here in Scotland, but he knows our fight is as Scottish Conservatives and he is backing that as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.”