Ian Blackford brands Government ‘a shambles’ and calls for General Election

The SNP's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, has said Tory Prime Ministers since 2010 have "collectively got us into this mess", after Kwasi Kwarteng was replaced as chancellor on Friday.

Speaking to the BBC's Good Morning Scotland on Saturday, Mr Blackford branded the situation a "shambles" and called for a general election after Liz Truss sacked Mr Kwarteng and parachuted former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in to Number 11 in his place.

"We've really seen the credibility for financial competence, for financial management of this Government really put to bed," he said.

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"Over the last few years, we've gone from Cameron, we've had Theresa May, we've had Boris Johnson, we've now had the shambles of Liz Truss.

Ian Blackford MP Leader of the Scottish National Party Parliamentary Group  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Ian Blackford MP Leader of the Scottish National Party Parliamentary Group  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Ian Blackford MP Leader of the Scottish National Party Parliamentary Group (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

"None of these Prime Ministers have acted in the interests of the people of Scotland and collectively they have got us into this mess. It's not another Tory prime minister that we need. We need away from Westminster, we need independence."

Mr Blackford joined Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's calls for a general election, saying there had been a "whole series" of "shambolic" Tory governments.

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, also said his party north of the border was ready for any election.

Mr Blackford added: "We want the ability to remove this Tory Government. But of course, we've had a whole series of shambolic Tory governments over the course of the last few years."

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP argued that the situation backed up the arguments for Scottish independence.

"I think it makes the point to us that we don't have to rely on another Westminster government dragging Scotland through the mire, that there is an alternative and that alternative is Scotland becoming an independent country. I think what's increasingly clear to people is that we need away from this.

"I think what we need to do over the course of the coming weeks, is to have that debate about Scotland's future and contrast that future of Scotland as an independent country back into Europe - because let's not forget the damage that Brexit has done - about making sure that we're driving the investment into the economy, giving people hope that for the families that have children or grandchildren, that they can be safe in the knowledge that this will be a prosperous country, a fairer country, a greener country.

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"That's not what we get from Westminster and that's the questions that we need to be discussing with people on the doorstep.

Mr Blackford said Westminster "caused" the issues of higher energy bills and rising food prices and said the cost-of-living crisis was "exactly why" a conversation on a second referendum was needed.

"Westminster does cause these problems and that is a real crisis that people are facing.

"Without engaging in hyperbole, there's a real possibility that many people will even be faced with the issue as to whether or not they can afford to stay in their own home with the increase in mortgage costs.

"But it doesn't have to be this way. That's the point," he added.