A Tory MP has told Nicola Sturgeon to “grow up” after she questioned the necessity of Boris Johnson’s trip to Scotland.
Steve Brine said the first minister was acting “childish” and said she should focus on “better things to do than worry about Boris Johnson” visiting Scotland.
Speaking on BBC 2’s Politics Live, Brine said: “To be completely honest with you, when we’ve got 100,000 deaths in this country and the problems that we’ve got and the economic challenges we’ve got and the problems they’ve got in Scotland with domestic policy after more than a decade of SNP leadership, I think frankly Nicola Sturgeon needs to grow up.
“It’s pretty childish, this nonsense. The prime minister is the prime minister of the UK, he is entitled to go out and about to see people and to thank them and to understand what is going well and what is not going well and to see the Scottish vaccine roll-out, which, let’s remember, if Scotland wasn’t part of the UK, it would have been stuck in the disaster of the European Medicines Agency in the EU’s roll-out, presuming they were allowed to stay in the EU.”
“To be honest, I think Nicola Sturgeon should have better things to do than worry about Boris Johnson visiting part of his own country,” he added.
The SNP’s Drew Hendry shot back, branding Brine’s comments “a complete nonsense”.
“The part of the matter here is that this is a non-essential journey that doesn’t have to be undertaken and everybody knows that,” he argued.
“Boris Johnson is in Scotland today because he’s in a panic over the 20 consecutive polls showing there is majority support for independence. That’s the only reason he’s here.”
The comments come as Johnson embarked on a tour of a vaccine facility in Livingstone, Scotland on Thursday despite warnings from the first minister that he should “work from home” instead.
Sturgeon told the latest coronavirus press briefing: “I am not and never would be saying that Boris Johnson is not welcome in Scotland – he’s the prime minister of the UK. Beyond that, everyone’s welcome in Scotland.
“Even if I had the ability to stop him, that’s not what this is about. I’d be really disappointed if that’s how what I’m about to say is translated.
“But we’re living in a global pandemic and every day right now I stand, look down the camera, and say what I’m about to say. Boris Johnson does it, I heard him as recently as yesterday – don’t travel unless it is really essential. Work from home if you possibly can.
“That has to apply to all of us. People like me and Boris Johnson have to be in work for reasons I think most people understand. But we don’t have to travel across the UK as part of that – is that really essential right now?”