THE First Minister was not told of Boris Johnson’s plans to visit to Scotland this week, in what is being described as an “act of gross discourtesy” by one of her predecessors.

Nicola Sturgeon learned of the Prime Minister’s trip in the coming days only when she read the press articles about it on her 50th birthday on Sunday, it is understood.

The Scottish Government told The National yesterday – 24 hours after the reports of the visit were published – that it had no information.

A source said: “We have had no official confirmation of any visit, as yet.”

Henry McLeish, the former Labour First Minister, attacked the lack of notification by Downing Street to the First Minister and suggested it was the type of behaviour displayed by US President Donald Trump.

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He said: “Even by Boris Johnson’s standards this is an act of gross discourtesy. Any Prime Minister or senior official of the government coming to Scotland automatically informs the First Minister’s office or the appropriate minister.

“But let’s not be surprised at Johnson’s behaviour. He is beginning to take on some of Trump’s characteristics. He does want he wants, when he wants, regardless of what people want him to do.

“To me he is now a maverick, he will continue to be a populist and is starting to be an authoritarian. We have to keep calm heads, this is a deliberate act of provocation.”

Sturgeon and Johnson last spoke by phone in the hours after the fatal incident at the Park Inn in Glasgow on June 26.

It is not known whether they will meet during the Prime Minister’s visit.

They have met in person just once since Johnson succeeded Theresa May into Number 10.

That meeting was held in Edinburgh on July 29 last year, shortly after Johnson became Prime Minister after winning the Tory leadership election.

He was booed by 200 protesters as he arrived at the First Minister’s official residence, Bute House.

After the two leaders greeted each other there was also a notable moment when Johnson tried to usher Sturgeon through the front door – with the First Minister telling him to move along.

The “last one through the door” moment is a common point of conflict between leaders, as whoever enters last is often viewed as the more dominant party.

However, while the First Minister has been left in the dark over Johnson’s trip, the Scottish Conservatives had been kept fully informed.

Asked if party leader Jackson Carlaw did not know about the PM’s visit, a Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: “No, we knew about it and have been kept up to date throughout.”

It emerged on Sunday that Johnson will head to Scotland this week in a bid to “save the Union” after polls found most voters in Scotland now support independence.

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A Cabinet minister told the Sunday Times that Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove was “in panic mode” over the Union and Johnson was in “irritated mode”.

The visit to Scotland coincides with a marked deterioration of relations between Westminster and Edinburgh. The two leaders have seen tensions mount over independence and Brexit as well as the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

On independence, the Prime Minister rejected the First Minister’s request for a transfer of powers to enable Holyrood to hold a second referendum, while on Brexit the Prime Minister dismissed the First Minister’s appeal to extend the current implementation period.

There is also a flash point over post-Brexit laws, with Holyrood threatening to defy proposed Westminster legislation to create a “internal UK market”.

And earlier this month Johnson declared there was “no border” between England and Scotland after Sturgeon said she would not rule out asking people travelling to Scotland from England to quarantine. A row also broke out after the Prime Minister unveiled plans for “air bridges” – exempting travellers from designated countries having to quarantine after arriving in the UK – without consulting the Scottish Government.