Gove claims meetings with Welsh and Scottish governments are ‘festivals of cordiality’
Michael Gove has claimed that meetings with the Welsh and Scottish Governments are a “festival of cordiality” and that grievances are invented in order to keep activists happy.
The new Communities Secretary was taking questions in the House of Commons on the Internal Market Bill, which has been described as a “power grab” by the Welsh Government.
Michael Gove said that he met with the Welsh and Scottish governments every week and that behind closed doors there was actually very little that differed in the viewpoints of the different governments.
“Those meetings are, if you are privileged enough to observe them, they’re like a nest of singing birds,” he said.
“They are festivals of cordiality, and I recognise that the SNP needs to keep its activist base happy with the recitation of these grievances, but the reality is that those who serve in the Scottish Government know that we in the UK Government are their friends and partners, and Scotland has no better friend than the other citizens of the United Kingdom.”
He also hinted that there would be further attempts to give money directly to councils in Wales and Scotland, bypassing their governments, in tomorrow’s Budget.
“We’d never ride roughshod or otherwise over the devolution settlement,” he said.
“I hope that shortly we’ll be receiving news from the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the allocation of funds under the Internal Market Bill’s financial assistance power through the levelling-up fund.
“It’s great to have on the ground locally elected representatives, supporting the financial assistance power, the Internal Market Bill and the vital importance of making sure we all work together.
“Of course, I won’t interfere in the devolution settlement, but there is a contrast between our approach, where we devolve more power to local government in England, and the approach of the current Scottish Government, which is to take power away from Scottish councils.”
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