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