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Ian Blackford has been lambasted onsocial media for how long he spent questioning Boris Johnsson after the Prime Minister announced the new three-tier system which forces measures on different regions of the UK depending on the rate of COVID-19 cases. With so many MPs eager to quiz the Tory leader on the new plans, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle asked MPs to be concise with their questions.
However, seemingly ignoring the Speaker’s instruction, just moments later Mr Blackford launching into a two minute and 41 second rant when asking his question to Mr Johnson.
Mr Blackford told the Commons: “We know we’re at a tipping point, so today must be a turning point.
“A turning point where we must once again act collectively and get back to the absolute priority of suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and saving lives.”
He warned against delays in Covid-19 testing and suggested a U-turn should come via an extension of the full furlough scheme to help workers.
The Commons Speaker could be seen shifitng in his chair during the speech, looking visibly frustrated at how long it was taking the SNP leader to ask his question.
And Mr Hoyle wasn’t alone in his anger, with British public taking to Twitter to vent their frustration.
One wrote: “What about that Ian Blackford question, went on for an hour.”
Another added: “Why does it take Ian Blackford hours to say f*** all.”
A third person said: “Speaker: ‘Please be quick with your questions and answers’. Ian Blackford: Proceeds to ramble on for what feels like a hour.”
It comes as MPs in the north of England have criticised the Government’s briefings on upcoming coronavirus restrictions as a “shambles” after some said they were invited to calls for the wrong region or even left off the list entirely.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was giving the regional calls to MPs on Monday ahead of Boris Johnson’s announcement of new three-tier lockdown measures to tackle the virus.
Charlotte Nichols, Labour MP for Warrington North, claimed she was originally invited to a briefing for leaders in the Merseyside region.
She tweeted: “Don’t know how many times we have to go through this: Warrington is not in Merseyside, it is not in the Liverpool City Region, it never has been and if you’re going to make decisions that affect us the very least you could do is recognise that fact.”
Her party colleagues Lisa Nandy and Barbara Keeley said they were unable to attend the meeting for Greater Manchester after they were left off the list entirely.
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Ms Nandy said: “Just learnt Greater Manchester will be placed into tier 2 restrictions via twitter.
“Apparently there was a government briefing for GM MPs but I can’t provide details because I wasn’t invited.
“I suspect this is because they don’t know where Wigan is. What an absolute shambles.”
Ms Keeley added she had also been forced to pick up on the news about the new measures via social media.
“What a shambles this Government is,” she tweeted.
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