NICOLA Sturgeon has suggested Boris Johnson’s “fragile male ego” could explain why he delegates most of his discussions with devolved governments to his colleagues and appears unwilling to deal directly with her.

The First Minister said that most of the UK Government’s interactions with devolved administrations are delegated to Michael Gove who is Mr Johnson’s Intergovernmental Relations Minister.

Speaking to the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists’ Association last week, Mr Gove said he was “the steward of the relationships between the UK Government and all of the devolved administrations”.

He added that behind the scenes "good work that goes on across the administrations”.

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In an interview with Vogue magazine, the First Minister stressed that Mr Johnson “tends to delegate most of his interactions with the devolved governments to Michael Gove.

She added: “That’s fine, Michael Gove and I work together well, but it’s a different approach to his predecessors.”

Asked why she thought this was the case, she said: “Maybe it’s just a bit of a fragile male ego.

“He seems to have a disinclination to be, metaphorically speaking, in the same room as me. It’s odd.”

Pressed over the Scottish Government’s campaign for Scottish independence, the First Minister said: “There’s no status quo – the UK that people wanted to stay a part of in 2014 arguably does not exist any longer.”

Ms Sturgeon also spoke about the importance of the COP26 summit in attempting to limit global warming to 1.5C.

She said: “It probably is the last chance the world has to reach an agreement that is specific enough to meet the Paris 1.5C degrees target.

“It’s a massive opportunity, but I think there will be a real difficulty if that opportunity is not taken.”

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The First Minister has been criticised for refusing to call on the UK Government to refuse plans to open up a new North Sea oil field near Shetland at Cambo.

Instead, Ms Sturgeon has called on the Prime Minister to “reassess” the project and other oil and gas exploration in light of the climate crisis.

But the First Minister signalled a change in approach on Monday when she said that the UK Government’s policy of unlimited oil and gas extraction was “wrong” and “ot consistent” with efforts to limit global warming.

Speaking to Vogue, Ms Sturgeon said: “This has not been an easy thing for somebody in my position and in the political tradition I come from to say, but we have to ask ourselves whether new exploration for oil and gas is consistent with meeting the climate change imperatives.”