SNP and Labour leaders have urged Boris Johnson to make his visit to Scotland today his last, saying he ought to go to Buckingham Palace to resign instead.

The Prime Minister is due to start the week with a series of visits outside London – provided Russia does invade Ukraine.

It comes as Tory MPs use the Westminster recess to consider whether he should face a confidence vote over the partygate scandal.

It emerged on Friday that Mr Johnson has been asked to complete a questionnaire by the Metropolitan Police as it probes 12 lockdown parties in and around No 10.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis yesterday insisted Mr Johnson was “absolutely focused on the job” despite the scandal.

Mr Lewis also forecast Mr Johnson would fight and win the next General Election – despite the possibility of him getting fined for breaking lockdown, publication of the full partygate report by Sue Gray, and the voters’ verdict in May’s local elections yet to come.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the week should be Mr Johnson’s “farewell tour”.

He said: “Boris Johnson is a walking advert for Scottish independence - demonstrating beyond doubt the need for Scotland to become an independent country, so we can escape the damage of Westminster control and build a fairer future.

“Every time the Prime Minister visits Scotland, support for independence shoots through the roof as people are reminded of the litany of scandals and damaging decisions imposed on Scotland by this disastrous Tory government.

“With the police closing in on his rule-breaking, he should use his farewell tour to apologise for the damage he has inflicted on Scotland and hand in his resignation.

“Under Boris Johnson, the UK is in a state of constant chaos. Westminster is engulfed in sleaze, corruption and criminality, the Tory cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control, and his reckless hard Brexit has inflicted billions of pounds of damage to Scotland’s economy.


“It’s no wonder Mr Johnson is spending his flying visit hiding from the Scottish people, when the overwhelming majority want him to resign, including his own Scottish Tory branch office. His days are numbered. If he won’t quit Tory MPs must show him the door.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The Prime Minister should be making the shorter trip to the Palace to offer the Queen his resignation.

“The failure of Scottish Conservative MPs to hand in letters to the 1922 Committee shows contempt for their constituents.

“Every minute Boris Johnson remains Prime Minister is an insult to all those who lost a loved one, adhered to the rules, educated their children at home, went to work in care homes or applauded from the doorstep.”

Calls for Mr Johnson’s resignation are set to grow if he is found to have broken his own Covid laws, and if Mr Gray’s inquiry reveals further damaging details of partying.

Mr Lewis told told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “I have to say in the dealings I’ve had with the Prime Minister he’s absolutely focused on the job in hand, about what he’s doing for the British people.”

Mr Lewis added: “He has my absolute 100%-plus loyalty.

“I think this a Prime Minister is doing things for our country, he’s got the big decisions right.

“I think he will fight and he will win as a result of the next general election.”

In a bid to convince Tory MPs that Mr Johnson is worth keeping, his new chief of staff, Steve Barclay, yesterday said it was now the Government’s “priority to restore a smaller state” as the threat from the coronavirus pandemic lessens.

He said he would “make the centre of Government work like the best-run companies”.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he said: “Now, it is a priority to restore a smaller state, both financially and in taking a step back from people’s lives. It’s time to return to a more enabling approach. To trust the people, return power to communities, and free up business to deliver.”

No 10 said the Prime Minister would start the week visiting a manufacturing site in Scotland before heading to an oncology centre tackling coronavirus backlogs in north west England.

In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “I’m getting out of London this week and taking a simple message with me – this Government is getting on with the job of uniting and levelling up the country.”

Fifteen Tory MPs have publicly called for Mr Johnson to quit, while more are thought to have privately written to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories calling for a no-confidence vote.

He would face a vote if 54 of his MPs write 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, and would be ousted if more than half of his MPs subsequently voted against him.

It was also reported at the weekend that, despite Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross calling on Mr Johnson to quite, the PM had been asked to speak at the Scottish Tory conference.

The PM is expected to deliver a message remotely to next month’s gathering in Aberdeen.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Boris Johnson is not fit to be Prime Minister and he is single the biggest threat to the future of the UK.

“If the Scottish Tories welcome him back with open arms, it will confirm once and for all that they are a party devoid of any principles.

“This is a humiliating climbdown from Douglas Ross, whose total irrelevance within his own party has been revealed.

“The Tories are not good enough to lead the U.K. and not strong enough to stand up to the SNP.

“It couldn’t be clearer that it isn’t enough to oppose this Tory government, we need to replace them. Only Labour can do that.”