NICOLA Sturgeon has urged Boris Johnson to lead by example, and cancel tomorrow’s trip to Scotland.

The Tory leader is due north of the Border, where it’s thought he’ll be meeting with troops from one of the Army’s Vaccination Centre Setup Teams.

His visit comes just days after the SNP unveiled plans for a second independence referendum. 

When the Sun revealed details of Johnson's trip on Monday, it was billed as a chance to make an "impassioned plea for Scots to reject narrow separatism, and hail the benefits of being in the UK".

Currently, it’s against the law to travel from England into Scotland without a “reasonable excuse”.

The Prime Minister – and everyone else – can “travel for work” but only when that cannot be done from home.

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Asked about Johnson’s journey during the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Sturgeon said she wasn’t “ecstatic” about the visit. 

She said that the Prime Minister  was “not unwelcome in Scotland” but added, “we are living in a global pandemic”.

Sturgeon said the rules against travelling unless it is really esential had to “apply to all of us”. 

The First Minister added: “People like me and Boris Johnson have to be in work for reasons that I think most people understand, but we don't have to travel across the UK, as part of that. 

“Is that really essential right now? Because we have a duty to lead by example. And if we are going to suggest that we don't take the rules as seriously as we should, it gets harder to convince other people.”

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Sturgeon said she and her advisers had decided against her visiting a mass vaccination centre due to open in the next week.

She explained: “In the particular circumstances we're living in right now, with an infectious virus and this is possibly the most important point, when we are telling other people not to travel when it's not really, really, really, really essential, then I think we have an obligation to subject ourselves to the same rigour in deciding what is essential, and what is not essential.

“I would love nothing more, and I hope before too long I get the opportunity, to go and visit every major ICU unit in the country to personally thank those who have done so much for us. 

“It would not be responsible or essential for me to do that right now. And it would not be helpful to them.

“There's loads of examples I could use of things that I would like to do right now, but in a pandemic when we were saying don't travel unless it's essential, ‘like to do’ is not the barometer, it's not the test. ‘Is it really, really essential?’ That's the test. 

“And I would say me travelling from Edinburgh to Aberdeen to visit a vaccination centre right now, is not essential, and Boris Johnson travelling from London to wherever in Scotland, if he's going to do the same, is not essential. 

“And if we're asking other people to abide by that, then I'm sorry, but I do think it probably is incumbent on us to do likewise.”

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Earlier, Johnson’s trip was defended by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack in the Commons

"The Prime Minister is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and wherever he needs to go in his vital work against this pandemic he will go,” he told MPs.