Boris Johnson blocked suggestion for Nicola Sturgeon to attend cabinet

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a Stay in Scotland campaign event. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a Stay in Scotland campaign event. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA. - Credit: PA

A suggestion from Michael Gove to allow bringing Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon into Westminster cabinet meetings was rejected by Boris Johnson, it has been claimed.

According to the Financial Times, Boris Johnson rejected the suggestion from the Cabinet Office minister because he feared that it would make Sturgeon look too powerful.

'Michael suggested it at cabinet as one of a number of ideas to address the Scottish question, but Boris didn't like it,' a source told the newspaper.

'He doesn't like the idea of Sturgeon being seen as on the same political level as him'.

Sturgeon in recent months has been critical of the Westminster government's plans for Brexit and handling of the coronavirus, with devolved administrations previously complaining of a lack of communication over the key issues.

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Tory MPs feared that Gove's plan would lead to Sturgeon having a greater voice in England, which could backfire on the Westminster government as they attempt to keep their grip on power.

'It would end up with Nicola standing on the steps of Number 10 telling an expectant world how bad the government is,' said one MP.

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They added: 'Unionists in Scotland would find the whole idea outrageous.'

Last month mayor of London Sadiq Khan revealed that the prime minister has not held a Cobra meeting over the pandemic since May.

The meetings had included the mayor and leaders of the devolved administrations, allowing them to be updated on the coronavirus response. It means some leaders have not spoken to Johnson since the last meeting was held.

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