Nicola Sturgeon demands 'UK' dropped from national festival branding

Fury at ‘petty’ Nicola Sturgeon after she demands ‘Britain’ and ‘UK’ are dropped from branding of £120m national festival

  • Planning under way for national festival in 2022 to celebrate ‘our precious union’
  • Scottish government has called for ‘UK’ and ‘Britain’ to be axed from branding 
  • The £120million festival was announced by then-PM Theresa May in 2018 

Nationalist politicians have urged Boris Johnson to drop the words ‘UK’ and ‘Britain’ from the branding for a nationwide festival. 

The Scottish Government has objected to the working title of ‘UK Festival 2022’ for the event – aimed at celebrating the best of Britain.

Initially announced by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018, planning is well under way for the £120million celebration.

At the time, Mrs May said it would help to strengthen ‘our precious Union’ with events to take place across the four nations.

But it emerged yesterday that the plans have stalled after the SNP Government failed to approve the use of ‘UK’ and ‘Britain’ in branding for promotional materials.

Nicola Sturgeon’s (pictured at Holyrood last week) Scottish Government has objected to the working title of ‘UK Festival 2022’ for the event – aimed at celebrating the best of Britain

Whitehall insiders say the cultural festival, which will celebrate achievements in fields including science, technology and engineering, will bring £12million to Scotland, with the creative contracts worth an additional £3million.

However, the contracts have been delayed due to the disagreement and sources say bids cannot be put out to tender until an agreement is reached.

A UK Government source said: ‘The Scottish Government are causing unnecessary delays because they want to remove all references to Britain or the UK when we launch the next phase. 

‘It is incredibly petty and hugely frustrating. The creative sector is crying out for support right now.’ 

Event planning is being led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport but it is understood ministers are taking a fournation approach with ‘collaboration with devolved nations’. 

Ten events are being planned, with at least one to be held in Scotland.

The Scottish Government said it had been ‘engaging positively since very early in the process on this issue’ and ‘any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded’.

Nationalist politicians have urged Boris Johnson (pictured on a visit to a school last week) to drop the words ‘UK’ and ‘Britain’ from the branding for a nationwide festival

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