Boris Johnson has been branded “reckless” for visiting a Scottish vaccine plant which saw a coronavirus outbreak just 24 hours before.
A report in the Daily Record revealed Johnson visited Valneva’s plant in Livingston last week as they started manufacturing their Covid-19 vaccine – just one day after public health officials uncovered a surge in coronavirus cases.
Officials believe the number of infections stood at 14 – about one in eight of the workforce.
Valneva’s chief financial officer, David Lawrence, told the newspaper that Number 10 were aware of the outbreak and were “comfortable”.
But speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, SNP Westminster’s leader Ian Blackford criticised the trip, claiming Johnson was “the worst possible leader at the worst possible time”.
“What an absolute shambles that he’s gone to a plant where there was a Covid outbreak. And the prime minister can’t just explain away this shocking error of judgement. Anyone can see this campaign trip to Scotland was utterly, utterly reckless.
“The Daily Record story was very clear. The prime minister and his advisers knew there was a serious Covid outbreak at this plant, they knew that visiting posed a risk, but they made a deliberate choice. They made an irresponsible choice. The prime minister put politics before public health.
“Prime minister, why be so reckless? Is it any wonder why people in Scotland have no faith in this prime minister? Isn’t he the worst possible leader at the worst possible time?”
But Johnson replied: “What the people of Scotland want to see is the whole country pulling together and working to develop the vaccine as that plant in Scotland are doing”.
He said it is his right and duty as prime minister to visit all nations of the UK.
He added: “Nothing and no one is going to stop me.”