BORIS Johnson has claimed that devolved administrations made different lockdown choices to his UK Government for “political purposes”.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday, the Prime Minister claimed that “self-differentiation” between approaches to Covid lockdowns across the UK had been done with political aims in mind.

He told the broadcaster: “If you look at the way the UK has proceeded in the last year there has been quite a lot of sort of self-differentiation for, perhaps sometimes for political purposes, but the overall pattern of progress has been very similar. We’re all really working together.

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“If you look at again the vaccination programme, mass testing conducted by the NHS, by the army, you can see the whole of the UK working together to beat the pandemic and we’re starting to get some very encouraging results.”

However, the SNP have strongly denied Johnson’s claims, saying that decisions have “been guided by the evidence”.

Mairi Gougeon (below), the SNP's Minister for Public Health and the party’s candidate for Angus North and Mearns, said it was Boris Johnson who had questions to answer about his approach to lockdowns.

The National:

Gougeon said: "Throughout this pandemic, the First Minister and the SNP Government have been guided by the evidence - which is why we have been able to safely ease restrictions, with hospitality, non-essential shops and gyms reopening today.

“Scotland is of course the first part of the UK to permit indoor hospitality and it is important that before we ease up further, we take a little bit of time to ensure that there is no increase in the virus as a result of today's opening up.

"The SNP has also been consistent in its calls on the UK government to align with Scotland so we can effectively tackle this virus - including on international travel and managed quarantine measures.

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"However, the deeply worrying reports in today's papers suggest that there are in fact serious questions for Boris Johnson to answer over his approach towards lockdown measures needed to suppress the virus and to protect lives."

Reports in the Daily Mail cited a “well-placed source” as saying that Johnson “hates the ideas of lockdowns” and that he repeatedly claimed “there’s no evidence they even work”.

Another insider is quoted as saying that Johnson would like to have joined “the lockdown sceptics revolt”.

Forced to call a second lockdown, the Prime Minister is alleged to have raged: “No more f***ing lockdowns - let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”

Downing Street has officially denied Johnson ever said this, but multiple sources insist it is true.