CONTRADICTING his own previous comments, Boris Johnson today said devolution has “absolutely not” been a disaster for the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister told the BBC that he had benefited from devolution himself, equating his experience as mayor of London to that of the administrations governing Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Johnson was speaking from a mass coronavirus vaccination centre at Cwmbran Stadium in South Wales, as part of a series of Covid-19-related visits in the country on Wednesday.

He was asked if he considered devolution a “disaster”, following reports he told Tory MPs it had been “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake”.

Speaking in November last year, Johnson also said that he does not “see a case” for handing down further powers from Westminster to the devolved nations.

READ MORE: Scottish politicians slam PM for claim devolution is 'disaster north of Border'

He said: “I think that a lot of people looking at the way the NHS across our whole country has performed, the way the armed services have been so valuable, the way the drugs that we have had been procured nationally, invented nationally, I think people can see the strength of the Union.”

Asked the same question again, Mr Johnson said: “Certainly not overall. Absolutely not. I speak as the proud beneficiary of devolution when I was running London. I was very proud to be doing things that made a real difference for my constituents and my electorate, improving quality of life.”

He added: “I think that devolution can work very well, but it depends very much on what the devolved authorities do.”

The Prime Minister's comments echoed the defence used by Downing Street after he initially labelled devolution a "disaster".

At the time, No10 sources did not deny the Prime Minister had made the comments but attempted to clarify his position, claiming he has “always supported devolution”, though “not when it’s used by separatists and nationalists to break up the UK”.

As the row went on, Tories insisted further that Johnson had been talking about the SNP Government, and not devolution itself.