Boris Johnson has declined Nicola Sturgeon’s invitation to meet for talks while he is in Scotland this week.
The first minister had invited the prime minister to her official Edinburgh residence, Bute House, to discuss their plans for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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But in a reply to Ms Sturgeon’s letter, Mr Johnson said: “I am keen to arrange an in-person meeting with you and the other first ministers and deputy first minister to build on the constructive discussions we had earlier this summer.
“We agreed then that we should establish a structured forum for ongoing engagement between the government and the devolved administrations to deliver tangible outcomes in the interests of people throughout the UK.”
The prime minister added: “I look forward to meeting with you soon and working together in the interests of people in all parts of our country.”
In her letter to Mr Johnson, the first minister said it would be “their first opportunity to meet in person for a while”.
Ms Sturgeon acknowledged the two leaders “differ politically”, but said the Scottish and UK governments “must work together where we can”.