The SNP’s leader in Westminster and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have clashed in the House of Commons at the start of a monumental day in Parliament.
The Tory leader took his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions a day on from sacking 21 Conservative MPs for voting against the government in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
The government lost the vote by a majority of 27 and MPs will now have the opportunity to pass legislation that would effectively take crashing out of the European Union (EU) off the table.
Mr Johnson is expected to seek a general election later if the opposition succeeds in blocking a no-deal Brexit.
The SNP’s leader in the House of Commons Ian Blackford was among the first to ask questions of the Prime Minister at PMQs on Wednesday.
The Ross, Skye and Lochaber politician accused Mr Johnson of “behaving like a dictator more than a democrat”.
He added: “The Prime Minister must be stopped. MPs must unite across this house to take no-deal off the table tonight.
“Mr Speaker we will defeat the government again so can the Prime Minister tell us, when we succeed, will he respect the democratic vote of this house, the democratic will of the people we represent and finally act to remove the threat of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit?”
Mr Johnson responded: “Mr Speaker may I ask the Right Honourable gentleman if he will respect the democratic will of the people of the United Kingdom, as this house voted to do time and time and time again, and that is to implement the result of the referendum?”
In response Mr Blackford called the Prime Minister a “new boy”, adding: “We ask the questions, he’s supposed to answer them.
“The people of Scotland voted to remain in the European Union. We are not going to be dragged out against our will by the Prime Minister.”
Mr Blackford added: “If he wants the election, enable the bill and bring it on.”
Mr Johnson responded: “I am a democrat because I not only want to respect the will of the people in respect of the referendum but I also want to have an election, or I am also willing to have an election if the Right Honourable gentleman opposite’s terrible bill goes through.
“I’ll tell you the reason Mr Speaker why the separatists in Scotland drone on and on about breaking up, about smashing the oldest and most successful political union.
“There is a reason why they go on about it and that is to detract from their appalling domestic record. They are a total shambles.”