Boris Johnson takes swipe at the SNP over Covid vaccine in leaked Zoom call
Boris Johnson has claimed that there would be no vaccine in Scotland if it were down to the SNP.
The Guardian has reported that he made the comments on a virtual meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs.
This virtual meeting took place on Tuesday night, the evening before the new lockdown measures were voted on in Parliament.
One MP who attended the virtual meeting told The Guardian: “Essentially, the point the prime minister was making is that the UK is a major country, we’ve got sufficient clout to get the vaccines rolled out.
"He did actually mention that we were ahead of the rest of Europe.
“He said if it were up to the SNP, then there wouldn’t have been a single vaccine delivered in Scotland.
"It was a UK effort, in other words, and needed the clout of a big government.”
The Prime Minister’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton also spoke to The Guardian saying: “In terms of the broader point about the vaccine, there’s no doubt that the union’s been critical in the development.
"The UK governments during this pandemic have all worked together to provide for the British people.
“I think on Monday Nicola Sturgeon said they have 100,000 vaccines in Scotland. It’s great news for the Scottish people, but it’s been a collective effort.”
The rollout of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine began on Monday across the UK.
Responding to Johnson’s remarks, an SNP spokesperson said on Wednesday: “These comments are as crass as they are inaccurate and show once again how desperate the Tories are to politicise the pandemic.
"The development of vaccines has been a global effort and our focus is on ensuring we vaccinate people in Scotland as quickly and as safely as it is possible to do so.”
This is not the first time that comments from the Prime Minister have been leaked to the press.
In November, it was revealed that Mr Johnson called devolution a “disaster” during a meeting with MPs.
He also claimed that the Scottish Government had an “abysmal” record managing public services in Scotland.
This came after SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called for another Independence referendum as recent polls have shown that support for independence in Scotland is higher than ever before.
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