Watch: Speaker cuts off Boris Johnson for deliberately 'winding up' SNP MP
Boris Johnson has been cut off mid-sentence after the Speaker accused him of “teasing” and “winding up” the SNP Westminster leader.
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle stepped in on Wednesday during Prime Minister’s Questions when Johnson addressed the SNP’s Ian Blackford, who had called his response over a £20 uplift to Universal Credit “pathetic”.
Blackford had asked the PM tomake the increase in benefit made during the pandemic permanent in order to tackle child poverty but Johnson did not commit to that and said the country should be proud of the way the Tories have tried to look after people.
He then accused the SNP of becoming more left-wing, adding: “There is a profound philosophical difference between him and me because the SNP is morphing to an ever more left-wing party that believes fundamentally that it is the duty of the taxpayer to pay for more and more and more."
The PM said the Tories wanted to get people into jobs while the SNP was failing to do this before Sir Lindsay cut him off.
The Speaker said: “We both know you’re teasing him and trying to wind up the leader of the SNP, please let’s drop it.”
Blackford had urged the PM to tackle child poverty saying research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the baby bank charity Little Village had revealed that 1.3 million children under five are living in poverty in the UK.
Blackford said: “This is a truly shocking figure that should make this Tory government utterly ashamed.
“The Scottish National Party has repeatedly called for a financial package to boost household incomes and reverse this Tory child poverty crisis.
Blackford added: “The Tory government’s been stalling on this for months – will the prime minister finally act or will he leave millions of children out in the cold?”
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Johnson responded: “I think that the whole House and this country should be proud of the way we’ve tried to look after people, the poorest and neediest families, throughout the country, not just with Universal Credit, which the party opposite would actually abolish, but by helping vulnerable people with their food and their heating bills, the £170m winter grant scheme, looking after people with the free school meal vouchers.
“And as I’ve said before, we will put our arms around the people of this entire country throughout the pandemic.”
Blackford said: “Will the prime minister agree to meet with me and other opposition parties ahead of the Budget for an urgent summit on tackling child poverty or will he be yet another Tory prime minister who leaves a generation of children languishing in poverty?”
Johnson responded: “I must say that I reject entirely what [Blackford] has just said because I don’t believe that any government could have done more to help the people of this country throughout this pandemic and we will continue to do so.”
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