ALISTER Jack has been accused of “living on a different planet” after he claimed that decisions made by Boris Johnson during his time as prime minister will “serve Scotland very well for decades to come”.

Speaking to Holyrood magazine, the Scottish Secretary also ignored a wealth of evidence to insist that the perception of Johnson as unpopular in Scotland was “false”.

Jack, a close ally of the disgraced former prime minister who elevated him to the Cabinet, told the magazine he was “sorry the way things ended" for Johnson, going on: "I think the decisions he took for Scotland will serve Scotland very well for decades to come."

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The Scottish Secretary further said: "I know the public perception was that he was not popular in Scotland, I understand that, but it was a false perception. I found when I walked the streets with him in Scotland, people were incredibly supportive. We never received any abuse in the time I was with him, and we made four or five visits together.

"I’m not someone who bears grudges. I don’t smoulder over things. But my view is that I’m very fond of Boris, I think he’s an enormous talent and I was very sorry the way things ended. But he’s still got a lot to offer and as to the people who brought him down, well, it’s not for me to fight other people’s battles."

An Ipsos Mori poll of 1000 Scots released in May last year – the month before Johnson resigned as prime minister – suggested he had a net approval rating of -71%, with 83% of respondents reporting a negative view of him.

At the time, Labour leader Keir Starmer had a -2% net rating while then first minister Nicola Sturgeon had a +12% rating.

The interview with Jack was conducted before the publication of the Privileges Committee report recommending Johnson be suspended from the Commons for 90 days for deliberately and repeatedly misleading parliament.

Rather than face the consequences of his actions, Johnson resigned as an MP with immediate effect when he was shown the report’s draft findings.

MPs will vote on Monday on whether to endorse the recommended sanctions against the former prime minister, with many Conservatives expected to abstain.

Green MSP Maggie Chapman said that, in his Holyrood interview, Jack had shown “who he is and what he values”.

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She went on: “He’s someone who thinks standing up in parliament and lying repeatedly to the country is an 'enormous talent’.

“He thinks people in power partying and dancing while the rest of us missed the funerals of loved ones is something to be 'very fond' of.

“And he thinks the economic mismanagement which has cost billions, driven inflation to record levels, and made us all poorer, is 'serving Scotland’.”

Chapman added: “The people of Scotland didn’t want Boris Johnson’s miserable, self-serving incompetence when he was prime minister, and they certainly won’t miss it now that he’s resigned in disgrace.”

The SNP’s Tommy Sheppard (below) also condemned Jack’s comments. He said: "Alister Jack must be living on a different planet if he thinks Boris Johnson has done any good for Scotland.

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“Boris Johnson has been one of the most unpopular prime ministers in Scotland since Margaret Thatcher. More than anyone he turned our political discourse into a cesspit, trashing integrity as he went.

"He imposed the unmitigated disaster that is Brexit on us despite a majority of Scots voting to stay in the European Union, and grabbed powers back from the Scottish Parliament through post-Brexit legislation, including the Internal Market Act.”

Sheppard added: “We are already seeing the consequences of that with the UK Government effectively having a veto over legislation passed by our democratically elected parliament here in Scotland.”

In his Holyrood interview, Jack took the opportunity to attack the 1998 Scotland Act which founded the devolved Holyrood parliament.

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He said the current devolution system was allowing a “hostile” Scottish Government to seek “divergence for the sake of divergence" – and claimed the Scotland Act should have been stricter.

Jack (below) said: "I think if Donald Dewar was putting that Scotland Act together again, knowing what we know now, as opposed to what they thought then, it would have been a different Scotland Act.

"I’ve made this accusation to some in the Labour Party, including Tony Blair, that the Scotland Act maybe wasn’t as tightly written at the time as it could have been.

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“It could have included a requirement for more transparency on spending, for instance, there could have been more accountability, and it maybe was a little bit loosely written because a Labour government was writing it from basically a belief that there was always going to be a Labour regime in place, a Labour prime minister, a Labour secretary of state, Labour first minister, and they obviously thought they were going to have control of Scotland forever."

Labour did hold power at Holyrood for the first eight years, from 1999 to 2007, in coalition with the LibDems.

Since Alex Salmond’s SNP took over as a minority government in 2007, the party has held the balance of power in Edinburgh.