IAN Blackford has advised his colleagues to “get into your constituencies and start preparing for an election”.

The leader of the SNP at Westminster’s words came after it emerged that Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue Parliament until October 14 look set to go ahead.

On Friday, the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend Parliament was found to be legal by the High Court in London.

In Scotland, Lord Doherty rejected a similar legal bid on Wednesday at the Court of Session. However, the UK Government was later forced to reveal confidential Downing Street memos about its prorogation plans mentioned in the Scottish court.

SNP MPs told the Sunday National that far from considering the coming weeks as a time of political hiatus, they were in the process of stepping up a gear, focusing on crucial work within their constituencies – some of which had been overshadowed by Brexit – if the suspension of Parliament went ahead as expected.

Pete Wishart, who has been an MP since 2001 said he was planning to work full stream ahead on making the case for re-election and hoped to increase his lead over the Tories in his Perth and North Perthshire constituency.

He said: “I’ll be treating it as the start of an election campaign and pressing ahead with preparing for that. The start button has been pressed and we are all going full tilt.”

An election date is still to be decided, with Johnson expected to make another attempt for support for an early election tomorrow.

But with opposition parties likely to withhold support for an election until after October 19 – the day the No Deal blocking legislation dictates Johnson must seek an extension from the EU until January 2020 – it would be unlikely to be held until mid-November at the earliest. Wishart is aiming to send a strong message to Westminster about Scotland’s intentions through the ballot box. Nevertheless he is deeply frustrated at the actions of the Conservative Party. “They have effectively suspended democracy,” he said.

For Hannah Bardell, who will be focusing her efforts on work in her Livingston constituency come the suspension, the frustration goes deeper. Unproductive Brexit debates have for months dealt a cruel blow to other work, she claims.

She’s been unable to commit to hold an event to highlight critical work on deaths abroad as it may have to be cancelled at the last minute, putting the plans of still-grieving families and campaigners in disarray.

“It’s incredibly frustrating,” she said. “Think of the amount of legislation that has not been passed. In Scotland last week the Parliament unveiled its Programme for Government.

“Meanwhile, in Westminster we have parliamentary paralysis.

“The impact on my constituents is significant. There are the Home Office cases that we now cannot raise, issues around benefits that I planned to raise questions on, but I now don’t know when that will happen.

“We are having to do our work with one hand tied behind our backs.”

For Kirsty Blackman, any period of suspension will be all about her Aberdeen North constituency. “For the first six months of year, Parliament was every Monday to Thursday in London,” she said. “But if you live in Aberdeen it can be really hard to spend as much time as you would like working in your constituency.

“For me the important thing is that people see what an MP really does. They see us on Prime Minister’s Questions – and that’s an important part of it – but what is critical is the case work. I’ll be aiming to get out and speak to people locally about how I can help them.”

She claimed there were still huge concerns in the area about how Brexit would affect them – Aberdeen has the highest number of people from outside the UK living in it outside of London.

“I’m getting a huge number of people coming to me with immigration concerns,” she said. “The other issue is Universal Credit.”

She too, however, is gobsmacked by the actions of the current Conservative government: “When I was elected in 2015, I never expected that we could be working through something like this.”

And what of Blackford himself, who is holding talks with opposition leaders on a daily basis? He too hopes that in these “extraordinary times” he will be in his Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency.

“I would see this offering Scots a clarity of choice,” he said. “Do you want Boris Johnson for your Prime Minister or do you want a Scottish prime minister fighting for our interests? We need to fight this election on the question of the future of Scotland.”

And that, he insists, is where his focus will be.