TORY Cabinet colleagues think Boris Johnson should have used sweeping powers to block Nicola Sturgeon and the devolved nations from Covid-19 response decision making, it has been reported.

At the start of the pandemic ministers and aides wanted the Prime Minister to utilise the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act to stop Holyrood and the Senedd from making their own coronavirus rules, according to The Sun.

The legislation would give Westminster supreme authority for an emergency situation, overriding the devolved nations.

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Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg (below) was one of those pushing this idea around the Cabinet table – but Downing Street was reportedly concerned that these extreme powers would need monthly approval from MPs.

Instead, it was decided that a new act – the Coronavirus Act 2020 – would allow them to have unprecedented power for a year.

This allowed for different responses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – but according to one former aide, ministers had assumed there would be one “joined-up response across the whole country”.

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“Obviously that turned out to be wrong and was pretty naïve,” the source told the newspaper.

The Scottish and Welsh first ministers have been highly critical of the UK Government’s disastrous coronavirus response.

Sturgeon particularly has seen her own poll ratings rocket, with the public citing her leadership throughout the crisis.

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Now looking back on the Cabinet’s decision to allow the devolved nations to make their own laws, one minister said: “I have no doubt that it will be done differently next time. The PM knows that.”

Another said that “hindsight is a wonderful thing”.

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The latest approval rating polling has the First Minister far ahead of other party leaders, with a 27-point ranking. Johnson has a -35 rating and Douglas Ross is on -15.

Labour’s Keir Starmer is on -11, dropping from positive numbers last year, and the newly elected Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is on 0.