SNP’s Ian Blackford pulled apart by Boris Johnson in raucous PMQs debate: ‘Our country is independent!’

The Westminster leader of the Scottish National Party compared the Prime Minister to Monty Python's Black Knight – but his pitch backfired


MP Ian Blackford addressed the Commons in Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon, slating Boris Johnson in the wake of the vote of no confidence.

Mr Blackford addressed the Prime Minister and reiterated his intention to lead Scotland to independence from the UK.

He said: "I can say to the Prime Minister that I'll be standing shoulder to shoulder with our First Minister as we take out country to independence."

Referencing the Prime Minister's recent leadership struggles, he compared Mr Johnson to the "black knight" from Monty Python, exclaiming the is "running around declaring its just a flesh wound".

Mr Blackford said: "No amount of delusion and denial will save the Prime Minister from the truth.

"He needs to wake up to reality."

But Mr Blackford's address fell on deaf ears as the Prime Minister pulled apart the 61-year-old's arguments by referencing Brexit and the UK's independence at large.

Amid gleeful cheers from the Tory benches, Mr Johnson boasted: "Our country is independent!"

Drag row
The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford
The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford
Boris faced a mixture of heckles from the opposition benches and some Tory backbenchers
Boris faced a mixture of heckles from the opposition benches and some Tory backbenchers

The Prime Minister continued to shut down comments from the Scottish MP, adding: "The only way that independence would ever be reversed is if we had the disaster of a Labour-SNP coalition, that would take us back into the EU."

The Prime Minister faced a mixture of heckles from the opposition benches, and some Tory backbenchers, as he opened up proceedings.

But he did enjoy roars of support from Tory loyalists, as he addressed the House of Commons for the first time since he faced the biggest crisis of his career this week.

Sir Keir Starmer revelled in the febrile atmosphere, lapping up optimistic cheers from the Labour benches as he probed the Prime Minister on comments made by Nadine Dorries about the NHS.

Responding to questioning about the country's preparedness for the Covid pandemic and why the UK was slow in its testing plan, Mr Johnson hit back: "Nobody knew how to test for it!"

Sir Keir's questioning on NHS funding, referring back to issues faced by the Government during the pandemic, appeared to bore the House.

And Mr Johnson took his chance to rub salt into the wounds, joking: "This line of attack is not working!"

Earlier this week, the Scottish government were urged to "come clean once and for all" about whether it has the power to legislate for a second independence referendum.

A limited account of legal advice was published on Tuesday after a lengthy freedom of information battle with The Scotsman newspaper.

But the vital question of whether the SNP Government has been advised to put forward a bill for a second independence referendum is within the powers of the Scottish Parliament is not included in the disclosure.

Mr Blackford referenced calls for a second referendum on Scottish independence by claiming: "The Prime Minister has no options left but Scotland does.

"Scotland has the choice of an independent future."

Mr Blackford concluded his speech by adding: "It's not just the Prime Minister who we have zero confidence in its the broken Westminster system that puts a man like him in power."