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by Andrew Learmonth
24 November 2021
Boris Johnson 'floundering in failure' claims SNP Westminster leader

Boris Johnson 'floundering in failure' claims SNP Westminster leader

Boris Johnson is "floundering in failure" the leader of the SNP at Westminster has claimed. 

Speaking during a heated exchange at Prime Minister’s Questions, Ian Blackford called on the Tory leader to step down.

The clash came after Johnson was widely criticised for a rambling speech to the CBI where he lost his place for around 20 seconds and talked to business leaders about a trip the previous day to Peppa Pig World.

That led to a “senior Downing Street source” briefing against the Prime Minister, telling the BBC: “It's just not working. Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it'll keep getting worse. 

“If they don't insist, he just won't do anything about it.”

The speech was, the source claimed, “shambolic.”

That briefing infuriated allies of Johnson, leading to a Whitehall hunt for the so-called “chatty pig” who spoke to the broadcaster. 

The phrase is a modification of last year’s “chatty rat” scandal when someone leaked plans for a second lockdown.

Blackford raised Johnson’s troubles in the Commons on Wednesday, telling MPs: “The past few weeks have shown this Tory government at its very worst. A Tory sleaze and corruption scandal on a scale not seen since the 1990s. Tory cuts and tax rises that will leave millions of people worse off. A litany of broken promises from HS2 to carbon capture, social care, the triple lock on pensions and who can possibly forget the £20 billion bridge from Ireland evaporating into thin air. 

“At the centre of all this is one man, a Prime Minister who is floundering in failure. 

“Can I ask the Prime Minister, with his party falling in the polls, his colleagues briefing against him, has he considered calling it a day before he's pushed out the door?”

Johnson hit back, accusing the SNP leader of wasting his question.

He said: “What the people in this country want to hear is less talk about politics. And they want to talk about what the government is doing for the people of Scotland, and what is the Scottish Government doing for the people of Scotland, which isn't enough.

“He talks about infrastructure investments, I can tell him that if he will wait till Friday or later this week, he's going to hear about what we're going to do with the Union connectivity review to ensure that the people of Scotland are served with the connections that they need and which the Scottish nationalist party has totally failed to put in.”

Blackford said: “This isn't just about the chaos of the Conservative Party, it's about the state of the United Kingdom and his failing leadership. Whilst the Prime Minister spends his time hunting for chatty pigs, and scaring off a leadership challenge from the Treasury, in the real world people are suffering a Tory cost of living crisis, Brexit is hitting the economy hard, but the Prime Minister can't even give a coherent speech to business. 

“The Prime Minister's officials have lost confidence in him. Tory MPs have lost confidence in him - the letters are going in - and the public have lost confidence in him. Why is he clinging on when quite clearly he simply isn't up to the job?”

“I might ask the right honourable gentleman what does he think he is doing talking about party political issues when all the people of Scotland want to hear is what on earth the Scottish national government is doing. They're falling in the polls. Their cause is falling. Considering their manifold failures on tax, on education, on all things the people in Scotland really care about I'm not surprised.”

The Prime Minister later confirmed that the Union Connectivity Review, conducted by transport expert Sir Peter Hendy to examine connections between the different parts of the UK, would look at the A75, A77 and the A1.

It’s understood that the report will confirm that a possible fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland is not viable. 

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - SNP minister's 'disappointment and loss' over Derek Mackay texting scandal

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