Michael Gove planning new PR drive to kill off Scottish independence
Michael Gove is planning to set up a focused unit to combat Scottish independence amid concerns that Westminster is losing in the fight to protect the Union, according to reports.
A small team of at least two full-time UK government PR specialists would be handed the task of battling against the SNP’s publicity campaigns
The Sunday Times reports that Mr Gove, who leads the government’s Union policy and implementation committee, and Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross are in talks with party donors about launching the new taskforce prior to next year’s Holyrood elections.
The unit would utilise social media and traditional media platforms to spread its message to Scots that their future belongs with the UK.
If created, the team would replace an existing Union unit, which one leading Tory party strategist claims has been “consumed by Covid-19 and by Brexit”.
It comes following recent polling that suggests that support for the SNP is growing, with those in favour of Scottish independence rising to a record high of 58 per cent this month.
Commenting, a Whitehall source told the Sunday Times: “There’s a plan to get more media capacity focusing on Scotland — at least a couple of dedicated people on the media side. It’s more of an explaining role than an attack unit.
"The Scottish media takes its lead from the SNP government and a lot of what they get fed is uncontested. We need to get better at explaining what we are doing.
“It also means that ministers shouldn’t be shy of explaining themselves to the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh assembly if they are asked. We need to listen and engage more.”
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