BORIS Johnson’s “anti-Scottish” administration is driving support for independence, according to former Welsh Labour first minister.

Carwyn Jones warned the Prime Minister that the Union will break up within a decade if he continues to deny the democratic will of Scots.

“Boris Johnson is head of a government that is very English nationalist in its outlook,” he told Constitutionally Sound, the podcast by Edinburgh University’s Centre on Constitutional Change.

"Very anti-Scottish, actually, and anti-everybody else from my perspective. If you keep on saying 'no' to democrats you give succour to people who are far more extreme.

"There are consequences of saying no to a democratic election result and that's something we should all bear in mind.

"How do you say in the long term 'no, no, no' when people in Scotland keep voting 'yes, yes, yes'? That's a fundamental problem that can only end badly."

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The former Welsh first minister, who led Welsh Labour from 2009 until 2018, argued “radical” reform was necessary in the UK, otherwise “there won’t be a UK in 10 years”.

He called for the “wrecked” and “out of date” Barnett formula to be replaced, advocating for a new system to decide how money is transferred from Westminster to the devolved governments.

Johnson, whose approval ratings in Scotland remain dire, has been accused along with several of his senior ministers of plotting to “slash Scotland’s cash” after publicly criticising funding arrangements for Holyrood.

A day after the 2014 independence referendum, Johnson said: “We can’t just go on with a system that even Joel Barnett himself thinks is outdated.”

However, members of Johnson’s inner circle insisted in 2019, as he was campaigning to be prime minister, that he would not scrap the arrangement.

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Jones went on to criticise Scottish Labour for being overtaken by the SNP, who he says have successfully established themselves as the party that is “standing up for Scotland” in the minds of voters.

Despite once being the dominant force in Scottish politics, recent polls suggest Scottish Labour are again at risk of being pipped by the Tories to a distant second place in the upcoming Holyrood election.

Jones explained: “From the outside, one of the impressions that I had was when the issue of Scottish identity became a much more of a stronger issue in politics, they moved away from it.

“They were a little bit reluctant to move onto that ground and say, ‘no, you can be proudly Scottish and yet not be in favour of independence’. That ground seemed then to be colonised by the SNP and those people who were devolutionists ended up as supporters of independence.”

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The SNP said Jones's comments underline that the Tory government's stance on indyref2 cannot hold. 

A party spokesperson told The National: “This is a significant intervention by the former Welsh First Minister that outlines just how undemocratic and unsustainable the Tory position on an independence referendum is.

"It's more than a bit embarrassing that Labour politicians in Wales have done more than their Holyrood colleagues to defend the democratic rights of the people of Scotland. Scottish Labour should take a leaf out of their Welsh colleagues' book and back Scotland's right to choose a better future in a post-pandemic referendum.

"The future of Scotland must be in the hands of the people of Scotland, not Boris Johnson's."

A UK government spokesman commented: “Now more than ever, the people of the United Kingdom want to see the UK government and devolved administrations working together to protect lives and livelihoods across our country.

“The prime minister has been clear that he thinks all parts of the UK are stronger together and he will be the voice of the majority of Scottish people who voted decisively to keep the UK together. He will always stand against those trying to separate the United Kingdom.”