BORIS Johnson insisted he is “working very hard” with Scottish colleagues when asked if he still had authority in Scotland.

The question comes after Scottish Tories called for the Prime Minister to resign after the partygate row.

Johnson is invited to speak at the party's March conference, but will appear via videolink rather than in-person due to the event clashing with the UK-wide Tory conference.

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On a visit to Rosyth, without Douglas Ross or any senior Scottish Conservatives, Johnson said: “I’m working very hard with my colleagues in Scotland on our joint agenda of uniting and levelling up, and delivering for the people of the whole UK."

The National:

“I think we’re very proud collectively of what the UK Government has done at all levels to get us through Covid very effectively, so that we now have the fastest-growing economy in the G7 last year and this year, plus we’re working together on great projects which we’re able to do such as the free ports and such as investment in Rosyth.”

On plans for new freeports in Scotland, announced by the Scottish and UK Governments on Monday, the Prime Minister added: “I think if you look at the the attitude of the Scottish Government it has been fantastic, I think they’ve really got the point, and they can see the advantages of the free ports.

The National:

“I’m not allowed to give away the locations but they can they can genuinely drive huge numbers of jobs.”

It is not clear what Johnson is referring to when he insists he is “uniting” people in Scotland.

He is ranked, by far, as one of the least popular political leaders in Scotland – with his most recent net favourability rating sitting at -62, according to Savanta ComRes polling. That was alongside Alba leader Alex Salmond on the same figure.

Meanwhile, four in five Scots believe Johnson should resign as prime minister following the allegations of rule-breaking parties in Downing Street, which are currently being investigated by the Met.

And while Scottish Tory chief Ross has not taken back his call for Johnson to resign, he has been accused of performing a “humiliating climbdown” due to the Prime Minister’s invitation to the conference.

The SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, Kirsten Oswald, said “it might be Valentine’s Day but there is no love lost between Scotland and Boris Johnson”.

“It speaks volumes that this lame-duck Prime Minister spent most of his flying visit running scared of the people of Scotland – including his own Tory party colleagues, who are still calling for his resignation,” she added.

“People in Scotland are looking on in horror at the state of this arrogant, dishonest, out-of-touch Tory government but we need more than just a change of Prime Minister.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe is to become an independent country, and escape the damage of Westminster control for good.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said the visit to Scotland should be Johnson’s “farewell tour”.

The National:

Blackford told Sky News: “This is Prime Minister who is not going to meet his own Scottish Conservative leader, even the Scottish Conservatives want Boris Johnson to go.

“I hope this is his farewell tour, he is a man who is deeply unpopular up here.

“More than 75% of Scots think he should resign and I think people right up and down these islands recognise that this is a Prime Minister who no longer has moral authority.”

But Scotland Office minister Iain Stewart argued by promoting freeports Johnson was “getting on with the job”.

Stewart, the MP for Milton Keyes South, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “I think what the Prime Minister is doing is showing we are getting on with the job, we are setting out a comprehensive and bold vision of what we want the UK and Scottish economy to be.

“We’re investing massively, whether it’s in freeports, whether it’s in the levelling up agenda.”

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Pressed on why no meeting has been scheduled with Ross, Stewart defended the Prime Minister, saying the two leaders are regularly in contact”.

The minister added: “When I go up and visit around Scotland, sometimes I meet with my MSP colleagues, sometimes I don’t.”

Meanwhile, it emerged that the Prime Minister will cut short a trip to Cumbria in light of the situation in Ukraine.

Johnson will not stay overnight in the region, instead returning to Downing Street, No 10 said.