Ian blackford

Ian Blackford’s bad weekend

It’s not been Ian Blackford’s best weekend. On Friday night, the Daily Mail exposed a secret recording in which the Westminster leader directed his MPs to back a sex pest in their party. Blackford told SNP members on Tuesday night to give Patrick Grady their ‘absolute full support’ after the latter was found by an independent panel to have touched and stroked the neck, hair and back of a colleague 17 years his junior at a social event. Just 15 minutes after Grady’s suspension from parliament was announced, Blackford told applauding SNP colleagues that: He’s going to face a number of challenges over the short term and so he should

Ian Blackford’s six step guide to untold riches

Inflation. Energy spikes. Tax hikes. Low growth. It’s a tough time for hard-pressed Britons at present. The cost of living crisis has begun to bite and millions are starting to suffer. But not to worry: in these dark times, one man has emerged to champion the destitute and the needy. Step forward, Ian Blackford, the doughty defender of the dispossessed, who used yesterday’s Prime Ministers’ Questions to take up the cudgels of the nation’s underclass. The SNP’s Westminster leader – posing as a kind of Scottish Martin Lewis – inquired of Boris Johnson, with trembling lip, how British families are expected to afford April’s energy price spike.  Noble stuff, even if Blackford’s own leader

Five times the SNP delayed indyref2

It’s groundhog day up in Scotland as once more the SNP have found a reason to suggest why their desperately-needed, long-overdue second independence referendum… might have to be delayed again. For, despite a pliant press, a captive state and 15 years in power, the tartan nationalists are still unable to breach the magic figure of 50 per cent support for independence.  Having demanded a second referendum barely after the dust had settled on the first one, the SNP don’t seem so keen on holding it, given the lack of any sizeable shift in their favour. In light of Ian Blackford’s latest intervention, below are just five reasons given by the SNP since

Starmer leads on oligarchs at a strange PMQs

Prime Minister’s Questions today had a strange tonal disconnect to it. The session began with a standing ovation for the Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, who was watching from the gallery. Normally, clapping is banned in the Commons, but today the Speaker tore up protocol and MPs from across the house (and journalists, who by convention don’t clap anything) stood up to applaud Prystaiko. It was a moving moment. But it was not matched by the tone of Boris Johnson, either in his exchanges with Keir Starmer or indeed in the rest of the session. The Labour leader chose to focus on sanctions and economic crime. He asked why certain oligarchs,

The SNP’s Kamasutra guide to pensions

Valentine’s day might have passed but the spirit of Kamasutra is still alive in one party at least. The many positions of the SNP’s finest on post-Scexit pensions has greatly amused Mr S in recent weeks, with Ian Blackford in particular appearing to be something of a tartan Tantric.  First, the Westminster leader claimed that ‘absolutely nothing’ would happen to the country’s state pensions if it voted for independence. Then he insisted that the ‘obligation‘ would be on Britain paying such a debt from some mythical accumulated pension fund. Blackford next reverted to the 2014 White Paper position and admitted the Scottish government would have to pay its pensioners.  His latest stance as of, er,

The SNP’s partygate deceit

For weeks now, much of Westminster has been in full hue and cry of Boris Johnson over partygate. While some of the PM’s critics have legitimate grievances; others frankly, do not. Mr S has rarely seen a scandal spawn so much cant, humbug and windbaggery, as life-long opponents of the PM queue up to issue yet another demand for him to go. And what better embodiment of such self-righteous moralising than ardent Boris-basher, Ian Blackford? The SNP leader popped up at yesterday’s Commons debate to play another game of Blackford bingo. All the usual buzzwords were there: ‘public trust’, ‘shame’, ‘dignity’. Honour in public life – drink! Tory sleaze and corruption –

Ian Blackford reaffirms his crofting credentials

The last few months have been a period of change for SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. The waistcoat-wearing MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber placed one of his two Skye homes on sales for £400,000 and quit his £39,000-a-year directorship of Golden Charter – the investment firm which gets its money from pre-paid funeral plans. The company caused Blackford a fair amount of embarrassment last year after it was revealed to have bemoaned how ‘excess deaths’ caused by Covid meant it had to hand over more than usual to cover the costs of customers’ funerals and cremations. Classy. Now such Gordon Gekko antics are behind the former investment banker. Instead, Blackford has returned to reiterating his claims

PMQs: Ian Blackford’s trade rage

Covid changes its identity more often than Grant Shapps. The latest strain emerged with the appealingly exotic name ‘Indian’. Now it’s been given a more military-sounding tag, ‘the Delta variant.’ Today’s PMQs featured a tussle over the date on which this dangerous mutant sneaked through the UK’s borders. Sir Keir Starmer waved a file of papers at Boris. ‘It’s all here in the transcript,’ he said and he accused the PM of waiting too long to slap a ‘red list’ notice on India.  For once, Sir Keir had his timelines in a twist. Boris flourished a counter-file at the opposition leader. It was written, said the PM, by the general

Boris’s mask slipped at PMQs

Oh dear. Those texts. A bit awkward isn’t it? At PMQs, Sir Keir quizzed Boris about the exchanges between James Dyson and the PM which have been leaked by a saboteur. Boris was rattled. The texts reveal a side of his nature that he wants kept secret. The smug and rather puerile grandee luxuriating in his power and status. Look at me. Marvel at my cleverness. Watch as I solve your problems with my fingertips. See how ministers leap at my command. This will permanently damage a man who likes to pose as the people’s servant, toiling night and day to restore the fortunes of a once mighty kingdom. Sir

Ian Blackford and the hounding of Charles Kennedy

BBC Alba, Scotland’s Gaelic language channel, is not normally required viewing for the political classes. This week, however, Lib Dems across the country were seeking it out on Freeview. The channel last night aired a documentary on Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader who stood down in 2006 after acknowledging his struggle with alcoholism, which persisted until he died in 2015 at the age of 55. Three weeks before his death and after 32 years as MP for a Highland constituency – latterly called Ross, Cromarty and Skye – he was defeated in the 2015 General Election by Ian Blackford, now Westminster leader of the Scottish National Party and

Why Boris would like Brexit to continue

After all the parliamentary drama of the past four and a half years, the final Commons phase of Brexit is passing with remarkably little drama. Boris Johnson knows his agreement will be voted through this afternoon and, following the European Research Group decision, with nearly universal Tory support. Johnson’s speech was upbeat, as he sought to declare the deal a triumph. He pointed to the exclusion of any role for the European Court of Justice, the speed with which the deal had been done and the fact it was zero tariff, zero quota. In a sign of the fight to come, Johnson had to fend off multiple points of order

Ian Blackford polices the border

In case you missed the memo, it’s now illegal to cross the border to Scotland unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ that meets the First Minister’s requirements. Nicola Sturgeon’s new law – which limits the number of people who can travel from England to Scotland – is said to be aimed at protecting public health north of the border.  Luckily Sturgeon has her close allies on standby to support her in policing this new restriction. Step forward Ian Blackford. The SNP’s leader in Westminster is so devoted to the cause that he has even taken to social media to look out for those who may have fallen foul. After a man posted