UK Government will put Scotland back at ‘beating heart’ of what it does: Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to put Scotland “back at the beating heart” of everything the UK Government does as he prepares to travel north of the border.

The Prime Minister will visit Edinburgh on Sunday as he begins a tour of the UK to meet with the heads of the devolved governments as part of an immediate reset in the way UK Government works with them.

Sir Keir said he was offering the Scottish Government a “genuine seat at the table” and that they could deliver change for a generation through “meaningful co-operation”.

He is expected to meet Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney on Sunday and hold a substantive discussion on the pressing issues and areas where both governments can work together.

First Minister John Swinney speaks with a saltire flag as a background
Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney spoke to Sir Keir by phone on Friday (Jane Barlow/PA)

It comes after the two men spoke on the phone on Friday evening, the day the Prime Minister came into office.

Speaking ahead of the visit to Scotland, Sir Keir said: “Our UK Government will place Scotland back at the beating heart of everything we do.

“To the people of Scotland my message is simple and clear: You are at the heart of how we unleash prosperity across the country. We will rebuild a strong Scotland at the forefront of our decade of national renewal.

“My offer to the Scottish Government is the same. We can turn disagreement into co-operation and, through meaningful co-operation and a genuine seat at the table, deliver change for a generation.”

In the phone call with Sir Keir on Friday evening, Mr Swinney congratulated the new Prime Minister on his appointment and committed to working co-operatively with the UK Government on “areas of mutual interest”.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s meeting, Mr Swinney said: “I was really pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister on his first day in office and to congratulate him and wish him, and his family, well.

“I look forward to welcoming the Prime Minister to Scotland, where I hope to have constructive discussions with him on our shared priorities for the people of Scotland.

“This includes eradicating child poverty, growing the economy, prioritising net zero and ensuring effective public services.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to forge a positive relationship between our governments and, for our part, the Scottish Government is committed to working constructively with the UK Government to build a better Scotland.”