Blackford says Prime Minister ‘doesn’t know how to behave’
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Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, is a strong supporter of Scottish independence and the need to hold a second referendum on the matter, particularly after Scotland voted against Brexit in the historic vote of 2016. He has often clashed with Boris Johnson on the matter, leading to furious clashes between the two, particularly on a weekly basis during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
But he has now become embroiled in a new independence row, with a furious Labour Party peer launching a scathing attack against new comments made by the SNP’s leader in Westminster.
It began with pro-independence newspaper The National sharing its front page for today (Tuesday) on Twitter late on Monday evening, with the headline reading: “Who can strip Tony Blair of knighthood?”
This was in reference to the former Labour Party Prime Minister being recognised on the New Year’s Honours list, a move that has sparked fury and triggered more than 500,000 signatures in a petition against it.
The post from The National led Adam Boulton, currently Editor-at-large of Sky News, and presenter of All Out Politics and Week In Review, to reply: “You mean the Prime Minister who gave Scotland back its Parliament.”
This led to a furious response from Mr Blackford, who tweeted in reply to Mr Boulton: “The people in Scotland voted in a referendum for a Scots Parliament, Tony Blair most certainly did not give it back.
“The principle was based on the constitutional convention and the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.
“Self-determination is a right not the privilege of any PM.”
However Lord Jack McConnell directed a furious attack of his own towards Mr Blackford, completely shutting down the comments from the SNP’s leader in Westminster.
Lord McConnell tweeted: “I was a member of the Campaign for a Scottish Parliament from the launch and the Convention from 1990 until Labour kept its promise to deliver the cross-party plan we created together.
“SNP leaders (Inc IB) were not members or supporters of either.
“Stop. Rewriting. History.”
The SNP have continued to push for a second referendum on Scottish independence – despite Scots voting against such a split from the UK in a historic referendum in 2014 by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
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During the SNP’s virtual conference in November, the SNP increased pressure on Mr Johnson by claiming Scottish independence is “within our grasp”, with Mr Blackford insisting Scots should choose to split from the UK to “escape the constant crisis of Westminster control”.
In his online speech on the third day of the SNP conference, the party’s Westminster leader said: “For years now, what we are experiencing is a United Kingdom in constant crisis.
“And it’s a crisis that comes with a real cost.
“The cost of Tory austerity cuts, the soaring cost of Brexit, the cost of a Westminster Government engulfed in sleaze, cronyism and corruption.
“The cost of having a man like Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
“Those are now the crises of the United Kingdom – and they are the costs we pay for being part of this union.”
Mr Blackford added: “Independence is now the pathway to safety and stability – it offers an escape from the constant crisis of Westminster control.
“Built on the solid foundations of our own democratic decisions, independence offers the opportunity to build the post-pandemic future we all wish to see.
“The chance to build a new Scotland that finally takes its natural place amongst the nations of the world.”
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