Scotland

Boris Johnson Meets Military Personnel And Families During Scotland Visit

The Prime Minister visited RAF Lossiemouth and has also praised the "magnificent" work of the Armed Forces during the coronavirus pandemic.

Boris Johnson has marked his first year as Prime Minister by meeting with military personnel and families based in Scotland.

During a trip aimed at reaffirming his commitment to the union through economic investment, the Prime Minister visited RAF Lossiemouth, and has also praised the "magnificent" work of the Armed Forces during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic early this year, the military has stepped up to support the NHS in Scotland with medical evacuations, the building of healthcare facilities, testing and the medical equipment deliveries.

The British Army has helped convert Glasgow's SEC Centre into a temporary field hospital, one of those now on standby under the Nightingale project.

Training programmes have also seen personnel working with pharmacists to enable more frontline health staff in Glasgow to be tested themselves.

In Stirling, Liaison Officers at Joint Military Command have been in close contact with the Scottish Government’s Emergency Co-ordination Centre, whilst supporting planning efforts in the country's regional and local resilience partnerships.

"The last six months have shown exactly why the historic and heartfelt bond that ties the four nations of our country together is so important and the sheer might of our union has been proven once again," said the Prime Minister in a statement.

"In Scotland, the UK’s magnificent armed forces have been on the ground doing vital work to support the NHS, from setting up and running mobile testing sites to airlifting critically ill patients to hospitals from some of Scotland’s most remote communities.

"And the UK Treasury stepped in to save the jobs of a third of Scotland’s entire workforce and kept the wolves at bay for tens of thousands of Scottish businesses.

"More than ever, this shows what we can achieve when we stand together, as one United Kingdom."

Military personnel outside SEC Centre in Glasgow
Military personnel outside Glasgow's SEC Centre in March. The transformation of the venue into an Nightingale hospital formed part of the military's support to the NHS during the coronavirus response (Picture: PA).

The visit to RAF Lossiemouth coincided with a £100 million home for submarine hunter planes at the base being handed over from Boeing to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The hangar bay can hold up to three of the nine submarine-hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft the air force will have in its fleet.

The Government has also committed an extra £50 million to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles to develop the economic potential of the remote islands - some of which benefited from RAF airlifts for COVID-19-related treatment.

The Prime Minister said the will help close an "opportunity gap" set in Government sights when Mr Johnson stepped into office one year ago this Friday.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack says the latest announcement will bolster the country's "economic recovery" from COVID-19 further, after "900,000 jobs" have supported by employment schemes so far.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has countered the Government's push for Scottish unity, tweeting Mr Johnson's presence showed how Scotland has "its future decided by politicians we didn't vote for, taking us down a path we haven’t chosen".

Cover image: Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to a pilot sitting inside a Typhoon fighter jet at RAF Lossiemouth (Picture: PA).