SNP’s Ian Blackford brands Boris Johnson ‘racist’ who is ‘not fit for office’

Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson has been branded a “racist” who is “not fit for office” by the SNP’s Westminster leader.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford asked: “Does the Prime Minister realise, not only is the member racist, he is stoking division in communities and has a record of dishonesty?”

The remarks came as Labour MP Virendra Sharma labelled immigration policies Theresa May has presided over as home secretary and Prime Minister “racist”.

Mr Blackford’s comments prompted Speaker John Bercow to intervene and urge him to “weigh his words” as Tory MPs shouted “Withdraw”.

Mr Bercow said: “I think it would be much better if for now he would withdraw any allegation of racism against any particular member. I don’t think that this is the forum and I don’t think it’s the right way to behave.”

Mr Blackford replied: “The member has called Muslim women ‘letterboxes’, described African people as having ‘watermelon smiles’, and another disgusting slur that I would never dignify by repeating.

“If that’s not racist, Mr Speaker, I don’t know what is. Does the minister honestly believe that this man is fit for the office of prime minister?”

Mrs May replied: “I can say to (him) that I believe any Conservative prime minister in the future will be better for Scotland than the SNP.”

Mr Blackford began his exchange by asking: “Does the Prime Minister agree with the front-runner set to succeed her that the Scottish people are a verminous race that should be placed in ghettos and exterminated?”

Mrs May responded: “The Conservative and Unionist Party takes the people of every part of this UK not only seriously, but we welcome the contribution from people of every part of this UK, because that is what makes the UK the great country it is and long may Scotland remain part of it.”

Mr Blackford went on: “Well, of course, words matter and actions matter. The man who published those words in his magazine, the Prime Minister thought was fit for the office of a top diplomat and he hasn’t stopped there.”

Later, Mr Sharma called on the Prime Minister to justify her record on immigration, branding policies she has presided over as home secretary and Prime Minister as “racist”.

Mr Sharma (Ealing, Southall) said: “Over the last nine years, the Prime Minister has held authority over immigration, first as home secretary, and now as Prime Minister.

“By her own metric, she has failed to reduce immigration and her unjust, discriminatory, and racist policies have caused thousands of people to be treated inhumanly.”

Mrs May replied: “Immigration has been good for this country. But what people want to know is that the Government can make decisions about who should come to the country, that there is control on the numbers of people coming to the country, and that the Government takes action against those that are here illegally.

“That has been the purpose of the policy that has been pursued since 2010, giving people confidence in our immigration system so that we can ensure that we can continue to welcome immigrants to this country who give such an important contribution to our life.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) House of Commons / PA Wire.