In a letter Boris Johnson politely refused to meet Nicole Sturgeon, who had offered face to face talks in Edinburgh on Monday.
He said while he was keen to talk about joint plans for the vaccination roll-out and the recovery from the pandemic, he wanted to do so in a “structured forum” between the UK government and the leaders of all the devolved parliaments.
Mr Johnson commended Ms Sturgeon’s engagement with Michael Gove and added: “There is much for us to discuss as all parts of the UK work together on our shared priority of recovering from the pandemic. I understand our officials have made good progress on the details of this since we last spoke.
"The UK government is working closely with the devolved Scottish government on a variety of different issues. I look forward to meeting with you soon and working together in the interests of people in all parts of our country."
In her letter to Johnson on Monday, the First Minister said a meeting this week would be “their first opportunity to meet in person for a while”.
Sturgeon acknowledged the two leaders “differ politically”, but said the Scottish and UK governments “must work together where we can”.
In May after the elections, Mr Johnson wrote to Ms Sturgeon and Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford inviting the pair to a summit to “discuss our shared challenges”. A similar letter was also sent to the first and deputy first ministers of Northern Ireland.