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Newsnight: Ian Blackford calls Boris ‘a distraction’ and urges resignation amid partygate

NewsNewsnight: Ian Blackford calls Boris ‘a distraction’ and urges resignation amid partygate

Speaking to host Kirsty Wark on BBC Newsnight, the SNP leader at Westminster slammed Mr Johnson as “the problem” and argued “he needs to go”. The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP said he wasn’t certain that the privileges committee, which is due to investigate Mr Johnson’s actions around partygate, would examine him as Prime Minister, claiming that Tory MPs would “do their job” to depose him.

He said: “I don’t want this to be the main focus, Kirsty, because there are really serious matters we must discuss. So the two main things are Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.

“Again I’m proud of the fact that there is a cross party consensus, we stand up against Putin, that we defend our friends in Ukraine.

“But the Prime Minister is a distraction, he is the problem.

“He’s in India tonight and yet all that the media are talking about is what is happening to his leadership.

“He needs to recognise that he is the problem and needs to go.

“I’m not sure actually that the standards committee will be investigating Boris as Prime Minister.

“I fully expect that over the next few weeks Tory MPs will do their job.

“They will submit their letters to the 1922 committee after the local authority elections and Boris Johnson will be gone as Prime Minister.

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“And then we’ll be investigating someone who was the Prime Minister through the privilege committee.”

Presenter Kirsty Wark intervened at this point and asked if any British political party could take the “moral high ground” on the breaking of Covid rules after SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was reportedly spoken to by Police Scotland about breaking a mask mandate.

She said: “Just finally, do you think that any political party can take the absolute moral high ground during the pandemic? Is there a party that hasn’t made small transgressions?”

In response Mr Blackford admitted that “everyone has made mistakes” but lambasted the “culture of partying” at Downing Street as well as the “cover up” in recent months. 

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He said: “I think the fact is this culture of partying that was taking place.

“When everyone was making enormous sacrifices , that’s one thing and that’s what constituents are really angry about.

“But secondly what we’ve seen over the last few months is this cover up.

“Yes of course everyone has made mistakes, we’re all human let’s be honest about it.

“But this is a Prime Minister who is not worthy of public trust because of his behaviour.”

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