Election results 2021: PM calls Covid recovery summit after SNP victory

Election results 2021: PM calls Covid recovery summit after SNP victory thumbnail

By Joseph Lee & Dulcie Lee

BBC News

image copyrightGetty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has invited the leaders of the devolved nations to a summit on how “Team UK” can recover from the pandemic.

It follows the SNP’s fourth Scottish Parliament election win in a row and Labour’s win in the Welsh Parliament.

The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon said there could be “no democratic justification” for blocking an independence vote.

But Mr Johnson said talk of “ripping our country apart” would be “irresponsible and reckless”.

The prime minister congratulated Ms Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford on their re-elections and invited them to a meeting to discussed shared challenges and how to overcome them.

The PM telephoned Mr Drakeford on Saturday and will later speak to Ms Sturgeon, who has already confirmed she will attend the summit.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will carry out a reshuffle of his top team later following the party’s poor performance in English local elections.

He faces criticism after losing the Hartlepool by-election and control of several councils. He has already sacked his deputy Angela Rayner from two key roles.

In letters sent to the leaders and shared by No 10, the prime minister highlighted the Covid vaccine rollout as an example of “Team UK in action”, with the UK procuring doses at scale.

‘Historic and extraordinary’

He said the recovery would be a difficult journey but that “the broad shoulders of the UK” had already supported jobs and businesses throughout the crisis.

Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details.
Last updated: May 7, 2021, 14: 22 GMT

He called for a continued “spirit of unity and cooperation” in tackling challenges such as lost learning in schools, NHS waiting lists and court backlogs.

“We will all have our own perspectives and ideas – and we will not always agree – but I am confident that by learning from each other we will be able to build back better, in the interests of the people we serve.”

The SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament elections, securing 64 seats, but with eight Scottish Greens the final result still leaves Holyrood with a pro-independence majority.

Hailing her party’s “historic and extraordinary” fourth election win, she said voters in Scotland had backed a “progressive, inclusive, outward-looking vision” but faced “many more years of right-wing Brexit-obsessed Tory governments that we don’t vote for”.

She said an independence referendum was “the will of the country”.

Scotland held a vote on independence in 2014, billed as “once in a generation”, in which just over 55% voted to remain part of the UK.

But after the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, Ms Sturgeon began pushing for another referendum on Scottish independence.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the SNP leader said she did not believe any bid for a second referendum would end up in a legal challenge from the UK government.

She said such an outcome would be “absurd” and a “grave and serious and undemocratic situation”.

But she warned that if the UK government “refuses to accept Scottish democracy” it would mean Westminster would be “saying the UK is no longer a union based on consent”.

media captionNicola Sturgeon says it would be “absurd” if things ever got close taking the SNP to court over a referendum.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the SNP could not expect a second referendum to be approved as the party did not secure a majority in the Scottish Parliament.

He said there was a “significant difference” between Ms Sturgeon’s win and her predecessor Alex Salmond’s 69-seat majority in 2011.

“Alex Salmond, when he requested a referendum, every party in the Scottish Parliament agreed that it was appropriate to have a referendum given that he had secured a majority,” he told Marr.

“It is not the case now – as we see – that the people of Scotland are agitating for a referendum.”

Pressed on whether the UK government would try to block legislation from the Scottish Parliament on a second referendum, Mr Gove said: “We’re not going near there.”

Writing in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson said it was “irresponsible and reckless” to talk about “ripping our country apart” with an independence referendum at a time when people wanted to recover from the pandemic.

‘Reset relationships’

Unlike his Scottish counterpart, first minister Mr Drakeford is not pushing for independence in Wales, but does want more powers for the Welsh Parliament.

He called on the prime minister to “reset relationships” with the devolved administrations, after Thursday’s elections saw politics in Scotland and Wales further diverge from England.

Labour retained power in Wales and the SNP extended its lead as Scotland’s largest party in Thursday’s elections.

Mr Drakeford said that rather than “flying more Union Jacks at the tops of buildings”, they needed to build “proper, respectful relationships” between four parliaments with their own sovereignty that could choose to work together for common purposes.

“That’s the sort of UK that I think will have the very best chance of surviving, because it will be a UK where people want to be here, rather than are instructed to be,” he said.

Northern Ireland did not have elections on Thursday, but Mr Johnson confirmed its first minister and deputy first minister would also be invited to the summit.

Read More

Learn More: latest news on stimulus,u visa latest news,o panneerselvam latest news,g dragon latest news,latest news about stimulus check,j cole latest news,p chidambaram latest news,hepatitis b latest news,sarah g latest news,l&t latest news,p square latest news,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *