Boris Johnson would like to reverse devolution, claims Dominic Cummings

Boris Johnson is an "unthinking unionist" who would like to reverse devolution, Dominic Cummings has claimed.

The Prime Minister’s former chief adviser said the Prime Minister sees devolution and the Scottish Parliament as a “disaster” he would like to roll back but that he “won’t dare try”.

Mr Cummings, who has launched a string of scathing attacks on his former boss since leaving Downing Street in November, was taking part in an online question and answer session when he made the comments.

He was asked about Mr Johnson’s attitude to devolution by The National, a pro-independence newspaper, and replied: "He’s an unthinking unionist. Thinks devolution/Scottish parliament was a disaster, wd like to reverse it but wont dare try…"

Mr Cummings’s claims echo comments Mr Johnson was said to have made to Tory MPs last year, when he was also said to have described devolution as a "disaster".

At the time he claimed his words had been reported "not entirely accurately" and he had meant he was opposed to the way the SNP had handled devolution.

However, pro-independence figures pounced on Mr Cummings’s claims which they said showed Mr Johnson was a threat to devolution, which remains popular with the Scottish public.

Rona Mackay, an SNP MSP, said: "If these claims are true, it is an utterly devastating revelation for the unionist cause in Scotland.

"It lays bare the undeniable threat Boris Johnson and his Tories pose towards the very future of our democratically elected Scottish parliament – his former right-hand man makes clear they would scrap Holyrood if they thought they could get away with it.

"The Tories always hated devolution and fought tooth and nail to stop the Scottish parliament being established in the first place."

Alex Salmond, the former first minister and leader of the Alba Party, claimed the comments showed why it was important for the SNP to push ahead with its independence plans quickly.

"Either we move forward to independence now, or the Prime Minister will take his first opportunity to reverse all of the Scottish gains made over the last 25 years," he said. "We have been warned. Either we determine our own future or the writing is on the wall for the Scottish parliament."

A UK government spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has always fully supported devolution. As Minister for the Union he consistently makes the case for a strong United Kingdom and sets out that we are at our best when we work together towards a common goal, as shown during the pandemic."

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