SCOTLAND’S Finance Secretary has claimed Boris Johnson’s new Scottish spending pledge is “recycled and underfunded”.

The Tory leader is in Faslane today where he’ll pledge an extra £300 million for Growth Deal funds for devolved nations.

Hundreds of anti-Johnson protesters are expected to gather in central Glasgow at a demonstration organised by the left-wing Radical Independence Coalition.

It’s been a busy few days for Johnson, who put the finishing touches to his cabinet over the weekend, appointing the MP Colin Clark who unseated Alex Salmond as a junior minister in the Scotland Office. 

It’s also been a costly few days with a promised £3.6bn fund for 100 “left-behind”.

The spending plans have fuelled speculation that he’s preparing for a General Election.

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Polls over the weekend, putting his party up six points to a 10 point lead over Labour – have also led to several Tory voices urging the new Prime Minister to go to the country.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Johnson said: “Our Union is the most successful political and economic union in history. We are a global brand and together we are safer, stronger and more prosperous. So as we prepare for our bright future after Brexit, it’s vital we renew the ties that bind our United Kingdom.

“I’m proud to be in Scotland today to make clear that I am a passionate believer in our great Union, and I look forward to visiting Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that every decision I make as Prime Minister promotes and strengthens our Union.”

The National:
Derek Mackay said there'is nothing new' in Johnson'ca cas pledge for Scotland

Johnson is in Scotland on the first stage of a trip across the UK, with trips to Northern Ireland and Wales scheduled for later in the week.

The Scottish element of the new funding is for deals in Falkirk, the Islands, and Argyll and Bute.

Downing Street also said the £300m would be entirely separate from Barnett consequentials for the £3.6bn Towns Fund.

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Responding to the pledge, Mackay said: “There is nothing new in this announcement of deals which are already under discussion and £300m for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland falls far short of what is required, when the UK Government already lags behind the Scottish Government’s funding of city and growth deals by around £400m.

“In the face of a no-deal Brexit which would push the UK and Scotland into recession and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, Boris Johnson appears to be fiddling while Rome burns.

Mackay said Johnson “must honour his newfound belief in the Barnett formula by transferring a full share of the £3.6bn announced for towns in England to the Scottish Government, further funding for no-deal planning as well as the £160m of farming funding that has been withheld, a fair share of the funds given to the DUP to prop up the UK Government and the outstanding £175m of Police and Fire VAT charges that have yet to be returned.

“If Mr Johnson thinks he can win over Scotland with recycled and underfunded spending plans he has a lot to learn in his new role.”