PMQs: Boris Johnson calls Ian Blackford ‘Mystic Meg’
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Ian Blackford attempted to put Boris Johnson on the spot as he challenged him on the policies outlined in last week’s Spring Statement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. The SNP Westminster leader insisted “millions of families will have been desperate” to tackle the growing cost of bills despite the measures Westminster designed. But Boris Johnson deflected the criticism, insisted the British Government is making all efforts to avoid burdening Britons further.
And he took a blistering swipe at Mr Blackford’s own party, noting they should leave the cost of living crisis to them and focus on saving the education system from the brink.
Mr Johnson said: “This week, to get to his point, what’s happening is that the living wage is going up again by record amounts.
“And thanks to what the Chancellor has done, we are putting £9.1 billion into helping people up and down the country.
“What I might respectfully suggest is that the Scottish Nationalist [sic] Government…I think the thing they could focus for the long-term prosperity of Scotland is the educational system.
“I’m sad to see Scotland’s once glorious record falling behind.”
Last year, the President of NASUWT Scotland-The Teachers’ Union warned the education system in the nation was “on the verge of a crisis.”
Bernadette Easton claimed a widespread “culture of fear and anxiety” had taken over across the system in Scotland.
Ms Easton said: “Teachers have gone the extra mile to facilitate remote learning for all young people and this has not been without its challenges.
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“The pressure on every professional speed learning how to use Teams, how to innovate with digital technology, how to deliver an effective level of education.
“There was an expectation of near-normal education, in a situation which was anything but normal.”
She added: “It is no wonder there has been an increase in mental health issues by teachers.”
Mr Blackford however did not address the swipe from Mr Johnson and reiterated his question on how the British Government is planning to support struggling families.
Mr Blackford said: “What a load of absolute baloney – the Prime Minister is dangerously out of touch.
“Food banks are warning that people are having to choose their food based on whether they can afford to buy gas.
“Families are having to choose what rooms to heat or whether they can afford to turn on the heating at all.
“Some on the Tory Cabinet clearly believe that better weather means they can happily sit on their hands and do nothing for next winter.”
He added: “They obviously don’t get or don’t care that in many parts of Scotland, the weather will barely reach above freezing over the next week.
“The Chancellor thinks his £200 loan, which is forcing people into energy debt, is a solution, but it clearly isn’t.”
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