BORIS Johnson is an “unthinking Unionist” who wants to reverse devolution, according to his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings.

The PM’s former aide told The National that Johnson sees both devolution and the Scottish Parliament as a “disaster”, as was reported widely last year.

Johnson said at the time that his words were “not entirely accurately” reported after it was alleged he told a Zoom call of northern English Tory MPs that he considered devolution to be a “disaster”.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson rows back on claim devolution has been 'disaster' for UK

He insisted he is not opposed to devolution itself, but the “way the SNP have handled devolution in Scotland”.

However his former chief adviser Cummings, who left Downing Street one week before the disaster comments were reportedly made, says the Tory leader does indeed view devolution negatively.

The National:

Asked what Johnson really says about the constitutional set-up behind the scenes on one of his Substack Q&As, Cummings told The National: “He's an unthinkign [sic] unionist. Thinks devolution/Scottish parliament was a disaster, wd like to reverse it but wont dare try...”

The National:

READ MORE: Devolution: All the Scottish Tories who defended Boris Johnson's 'disaster' claim

Responding, former First Minister and Alba leader Alex Salmond said: “These revelations from Johnson’s one time confidante are exactly why Alba are advocating urgency of action on the constitution.

"There is no status-quo on self government. Either we move forward to independence now, or the Prime Minister will take his first opportunity to reverse all of the Scottish gains made over the last 25 years. We have been warned. Either we determine our own future or the writing is on the wall for the Scottish Parliament."

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said the revelations were unsurprising considering the open attacks on devolution from Johnson's government.

The National:

Harvie told The National: "The Prime Minister's desire to reverse devolution is no more a secret than Dominic Cummings being a sociopath. He has already used his Internal Market Act to fundamentally undermine the Scottish Parliament, and gone to court to strike down important devolved legislation like the recent children's rights bill.

“I'm convinced that these stealth attempts to dismantle the devolution settlement will not prevent independence, but will instead bring more and more Scots to the conclusion that building a fairer and greener European country cannot happen within the UK.”

Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “It lays bare the undeniable threat Boris Johnson and his Tories pose towards the very future of our democratically elected Scottish Parliament – his former right-hand man makes clear they would scrap Holyrood if they thought they could get away with it.

"The Tory threat to Scotland's powers is already fully underway as Boris Johnson has been undermining the Scottish Parliament by stealth by grabbing powers through the Internal Market Bill and the Shared Prosperity Fund. The Tories are currently challenging the powers of Holyrood to protect the rights of children in the Supreme Court.

“The Tories always hated devolution and fought tooth and nail to stop the Scottish parliament being established in the first place.

"There is sustained support for our Scottish Parliament and these revelations prove beyond all doubt that we cannot trust the Tories to protect the future of it. The only way to do so – and to protect Scotland from the Tories is by becoming an independent country and unlocking our full potential."

Former Vote Leave chief Cummings left Number 10 last year following a bitter power struggle.

While he was not reported to play a major role in matters relating to the Union, Cummings’s Brexiteer apprentice Oliver Lewis was briefly head of the UK Government’s failed Union Unit.

He quit after just two weeks, before it was decided that Union strategy would largely be the focus of a key group of Cabinet insiders rather than the unit.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives said: “The Prime Minister has been very clear that he supports devolution but regards this SNP Government as a disaster.”