‘No substantive change’ in policy towards devolution between Johnson and Sunak
There will be no “substantive change” in policy towards the devolved nations under Rishi Sunak from the Boris Johnson era, a prominent Conservative MP has said.
Boris Johnson was criticised for his attitude towards devolution, once reportedly calling it a “disaster”.
But David Mundell, a former Scottish secretary, said that the approach of Rishi Sunak towards devolution would be very similar.
Rishi Sunak today attended the British-Irish Council summit, meeting Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford (over video link due to his positive Covid test) for the first time.
But David Mundell told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “I don’t think that there’ll be a substantive change from the (Boris Johnson) era.
“The general approach previously, which was I think a constructive one on issues where there was agreement, obviously particularly in relation to Scotland, where there isn’t agreement on the constitutional future, that that position will remain unchanged.
“But I think Rishi Sunak has obviously demonstrated he wants to reach out, he wants to have a dialogue, he wants to do business where that can be done.
“I think that’s a positive approach.”
Mark Drakeford had earlier indicated that he would use the British-Irish Council summit on Thursday to push Rishi Sunak on providing more help during the winter period to people struggling because of the cost-of-living crisis.
Wales’ First Minister was set to meet with the Prime Minister on Thursday afternoon and said he welcomes “the return of constructive dialogue with the Prime Minister”.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister will discuss a range of issues with the Prime Minister later this afternoon.
“In particular, the First Minister will raise the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis and the additional actions that are required to help people deal with the very difficult challenges over the winter period.
“The First Minister also welcomes the return of constructive dialogue with the Prime Minister.”
Rishi Sunak has met Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for his first face-to-face meeting since becoming Prime Minister.
The meeting, during the British-Irish Council summit taking place in Blackpool, Lancashire, was also attended by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, appearing via video link.
Michael Gove, Minister for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, was also present.
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