Four-nations coronavirus recovery summit postponed

Downing Street said the summit has been cancelled because the Scottish and Welsh administrations need 'more time to prepare'.

Four-nations coronavirus recovery summit postponed Getty Images
Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford had called for a delay.

A four-nations coronavirus recovery summit has been postponed.

The move follows the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales writing to Boris Johnson calling for a delay for further discussions ahead of the summit.

In their joint letter, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford said this would ensure it would “avoid the risk of it being just a PR or box-ticking exercise”.

Their letter criticised the Prime Minister’s office for sending “a very rough proposed agenda” with key issues in the discussions seemingly yet to be agreed.

Downing Street said the summit has been cancelled because the Scottish and Welsh administrations need “more time to prepare”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We had scheduled for this meeting to happen tomorrow.

“As the PM set out, we need to overcome the significant challenges of the Covid recovery with the same spirit of unity and cooperation that we’ve seen during the fight against the pandemic.

“It is disappointing that the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government would prefer to delay this meeting so they have more time to prepare, especially given the scale of that challenge but we remain committed to that spirit of cooperation.”

He said that they want it to be rescheduled “as soon as possible” but that “we don’t have a date set”.

A spokesman for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The summit would be going ahead tomorrow if the UK Government were remotely prepared for it.

“As we and the Welsh Government made clear in our letter to the Prime Minister, what they had suggested was simply a PR exercise without proper substance.

“We have asked for a detailed agenda to be prepared for a serious meeting, which is what this subject deserves.”