Boris Johnson has come under attack for calling devolution “a disaster north of the border” in comments which have received criticism from the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.
Downing Street sources were unable to deny that Mr Johnson had made the comments, first reported by the Sun, during a discussion with backbench Tory MPs in northern seats.
Douglas Ross, the leader of the Tories in Scotland, responded by insisting that “devolution has not been a disaster” and criticising the Scottish National Party (SNP) for their “non-stop obsession” with a second independence referendum.
Government sources claimed Mr Johnson had “always supported devolution” but said he was concerned about the actions of “separatists” in Scotland.
It came as the SNP warned that the prime minister’s Brexit strategy was putting the UK “on the path to catastrophe”, with the threat of no-deal at the end of the year growing.