No. 10 shuts down access to PM May for Scottish leader Sturgeon
The provocative decision is likely to see Sturgeon forced to deal with Scotland Minister David Mundell because, a source told the Mail Online, “he is at the same level as her.”
The paper reported that the move is meant to antagonize the SNP amid government concerns that giving Sturgeon equal treatment makes her look like an international leader.
Sturgeon and May have held a number of meetings to discuss Brexit negotiations, an issue of considerable importance to the SNP.
Sturgeon may be refused requests for similar briefings in future.
Weekly updates on issues like Brexit will now take the form of meetings with May’s subordinate Mundell and Scotland Office Minister Lord Ian Duncan.
This cooling of relations strikes a different tone from that at the start of May’s time as PM when she met Sturgeon within 48 hours of taking office.
“This visit to Scotland is my first as prime minister and I’m coming here to show my commitment to preserving this special union that has endured for centuries,” May told reporters at the time.
“I believe in a union, not just between the nations of the United Kingdom, but between all of our citizens.”
The speed with which May met Sturgeon irritated some Tory ministers who are keen to remind the world Sturgeon is merely the head of a devolved government.
Very smart politics of No 10 to deny Sturgeon access to the PM for photo ops etc. She uses it to great effect and for maximum leverage.— BBC Waste (@BBCwaste) July 21, 2017
“Theresa May is a badly weakened PM, but it speaks volumes if she now doesn’t feel confident enough to meet the First Minister,” a Scottish government spokesperson told the Mail in a statement.
“And David Mundell’s credibility is in tatters after his failure to stand up for Scotland over the Tories’ grubby deal with the DUP,” they added.