Johnson calls campaign for independence 'pointless' in last ever PMQs
Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his last ever appearance at PMQs to accuse the SNP of running a “pointless” campaign for Scottish independence.
Johnson, who resigned as leader of the Conservative Party two weeks ago after facing a raft of cabinet resignations, has said he will stay on as Prime Minister until a new Tory leader is elected in September.
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford criticised the Prime Minister’s legacy, saying: “His Tory Brexit slashed £31bn from the economy. The biggest fall in living standards since the 1970s. People’s pay in real terms falling at the fastest rate on record. The worst economic growth forecast in G20, and the highest inflation in 40 years.”
Blackford then asked: “Isn’t it the case that the Prime Minister’s legacy of catastrophic mismanagement has paved the way for the end of the Union?"
Johnson told Blackford he should look at “the Scottish nationalists’ record”, saying: “I’m afraid Scottish school standards are not where they should be, because of the failings of the SNP. They are failing people who are tragically addicted to drugs, and the people of Scotland are facing another £900m in tax, because of the mismanagement of the SNP.”
Blackford told Johnson that “as well as a record-breaker, he is also a rule-breaker”, before adding: “This is how the people of Scotland will remember this Prime Minister.”
Johnson responded by saying: “I hope he will reflect on his long-running campaign to break up the greatest country in the world”, before adding the campaign for Scottish independence was “pointless”.
At the dispatch box, Starmer took aim at the prospective Prime Ministers, who backed out of a scheduled debate on Sky news, saying: “They organised the TV debates because they thought it’d be a great chance to hear from the candidates first hand - but then disaster struck - because the public heard from the candidates first hand.”
The Labour leader then asked: “Does the Prime Minister agree with the words of his former chancellor that plans put forward by the other candidates, in his words, are ‘nothing more than the fantasy economics of unfunded spending promises’?”
To which Johnson replied: “They know all about fantasy economics, as they’ve already committed to £94bn of extra tax and spending, which every household in this country would have to pay for to the tune of £1,200.
“It’s thanks to the chancellor’s, and this government’s, management of the economy that we had growth in this May of 0.5 per cent.”
Johnson added that he is “proud to be leaving office with unemployment at or near a 50-year low”.
Starmer told the outgoing Prime Minister that “millions are struggling with the cost of living crisis, and he’s decided to come down from his gold wallpapered bunker for one last time, to tell us everything is fine”, before adding that he “will miss the delusion”.