Prime minister Boris Johnson has arrived in Orkney on his first visit to Scotland since December’s general election.
He flew into Kirkwall Airport before heading to the first in a series of engagements, and was faced with protesters on his arrival.
They gathered on the road to Stromness, Orkney, where Boris Johnson is expected to meet fishermen at Copland Dock.
The masked protesters held signs with slogans including ‘Hands off Scotland’ and ‘Our Scotland, our future’ while an ‘Indy Ref Now’ placard was seen on the side of a van.
They also flew Saltires and the flag of Orkney.
As Johnson passed the crowds could be heard booing the prime minister.
His visit aims to reminds Scotland of the support the Westminster government has offered the country during the coronavirus crisis, including assistance for 900,000 workers.
Johnson said that the crisis showed the ‘power of our Union’, stating this was ‘only going to get more important as the world sails nervously into economic waters made alarmingly choppy by this unprecedented pandemic’.
‘Because our true strength is revealed not by our ability to weather storms but in the way that, since 1707, we time and again have bounced back from adversity and moved forwards together. And we will recover together once again now.’
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But first minister Nicola Sturgeon countered his claims saying that his presence showed how Scotland has ‘its future decided by politicians we didn’t vote for, taking us down a path we haven’t chosen’.
She said: ‘I welcome the PM to Scotland today. One of the key arguments for independence is the ability of Scotland to take our own decisions, rather than having our future decided by politicians we didn’t vote for, taking us down a path we haven’t chosen. His presence highlights that.’