BORIS Johnson will not campaign in Scotland during the Holyrood election, Douglas Ross has confirmed.

The Scottish Tory leader said he had spoken to the Prime Minister last night and now did not expect to see him before election day.

Mr Johnson, who recently campaigned less than 100 miles from Scotland in the Westminster by-election in Hartlepool, had previously said “wild horses” wouldn’t stop him coming to Scotland.

However, with polls showing his deep unpopularity with Scots and the Scots Tories struggling to hold on to second place in May, the self-styled Minister for the Union has now dropped that commitment.

Mr Ross has recently dowplayed the prospects of a Prime Ministerial visit, saying the Covid pandemic has made the campaign unlike any other.

However, after being asked by the media about the PM’s ability to campaign in Hartlepool and to make a Scottish visit a priority if he so chose, Mr Ross confirmed there would be no visit after all.

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Asked whether Mr Johnson has been warned off because he was considered a liability for the Scottish Tories or because he saw Mr Ross as a loser, the Scottish Tory leader said: “I spoke to him last night.

"He’s absolutely behind our efforts here in Scotland to stop the SNP majority, to focus on recovery, but I don’t expect to see him before the election on May 6th.”

Asked to confirm that Mr Johnson was not coming, Mr Ross said: “Correct.”

The SNP said Mr Ross was scared of letting the PM campaign in Scotland because he knew his "toxic" boss would cost the Tories votes.

SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said: “Douglas Ross is running scared because he is embarrassed by his boss. Boris Johnson is such a liability in Scotland that the Tories are desperate to keep him out of the country.

“Ross knows Scots have seen right through this Prime Minister. Johnson is not just untrustworthy, he is absolutely toxic to Scottish voters - and for good reason.

“Johnson’s hardest of Brexit, against the will of the people of Scotland, is destroying jobs, he has mounted a disgraceful power grab on this nation’s parliament and he and his Westminster cronies are a real risk to the future of our NHS.

“What a telling indictment on the state of the Tories’ precious Union when candidates can't risk being seen during an election with their self-styled Minister For The Union.

“Scotland has consistently rejected Johnson and the Tories for the past 60 years and that is why the people of Scotland will have the right to decide our own independent future in a post-pandemic referendum.”