BORIS Johnson has repeatedly refused to say if furlough payments will be made available to the devolved nations if they need to impose national lockdowns.

The Prime Minister was facing questions in parliament today after a last minute U-turn at the weekend meant the furlough scheme was extended, but only as the south of England was going back into lockdown.

Repeated calls for an extension from Wales, Scotland, and the north of England had previously been rebuffed and ignored.

Ian Blackford said the Tories latest reversal was a “democratic disgrace” that “finally buried the nonsense of a ‘Union of Equals’”.

Unionist representatives, including from the Scottish Tories, Labour, and LibDems, have all joined Blackford in calling on Johnson to extend the furlough to cover lockdown decisions made by the devolved administrations.

Johnson now appears to have U-turned once again, and told the Commons that furlough would be made available to the devolved nations.

Speaking in the Commons today, Blackford said: “Since the start of September I have asked the Prime Minister on no less than six separate occasions to extend the furlough scheme. And yet, every time the Prime Minister rejected that call.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson signals furlough WILL be available if Scotland enters lockdown

“This weekend’s last-minute U-turn on furlough has finally buried the nonsense of a ‘Union of Equals’.

“People across these islands saw exactly what happened at the weekend. A mini-extension of the furlough was only granted at the eleventh hour, when one part of the United Kingdom needed it. This is a democratic disgrace.

“The PM only acted when England needed support. When Scotland needed full furlough support, the PM said no.”

Blackford said he would ask Johnson just “one very direct question”: “If the devolved governments need to put in place additional lockdown measures, will the Prime Minister guarantee that the Treasury will make 80% furlough available when Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish workers need it over the coming months?

“For once, give us a straight answer to a question,” Blackford added.

Johnson replied: “The answer is yes.”

However, the Prime Minister went on to quickly contradict that statement, suggesting that the furlough would be UK-wide, but only as long as England was under lockdown.

He said: “The furlough scheme is a UK-wide scheme and it applies across the whole of the UK.

“And it is true that Scotland is currently taking a slightly different approach but he [Blackford] was talking complete nonsense about the non-application of furlough in Scotland.”

READ MORE: 'Unacceptable behaviour': Commons speaker calls for apology for lockdown leak

Johnson said the “might of the UK Treasury” had already gifted Scotland upwards of £7 billion.

Blackford took to Twitter later to declare this answer a victory. He wrote: “I asked @BorisJohnson to guarantee that full furlough payments at 80% will be available to Scotland whenever it is requested.

“It was a direct question and I received an answer … the answer was ‘Yes’. The PM must now stick to his promise, Scotland will hold him to it.”

The Prime Minister was given another chance to clarify his Government’s position in parliament a little later, when Glasgow North’s SNP MP, Patrick Grady, asked a similar question to Blackford.

Grady asked: “Does [a UK-wide furlough] mean that if parts of a United Kingdom are still in a lockdown beyond December, the devolved administrations will have the resources they need to extend the 80% furlough? Yes or no?”

Johnson said Grady “must have missed [his] answer” to Blackford, adding: “The furlough is a UK-wide scheme that applies through the whole of the United Kingdom.”

He again claimed the UK had given over £7bn to support Scotland through the crisis.

SNP MP Grady was visibly shaking his head in disbelief at Johnson’s response.

Just ten minutes later Johnson was again asked the same question, this time by Alistair Carmichael, the LibDem MP for Orkney and Shetland.

Carmichael opened by accusing Johnson of “manufacturing grievances” which did nothing to help the Unionist cause. The LibDem said the UK Government’s decision to extend the furlough while England was in lockdown but deny it to Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland was “unfair and untenable”, adding: “It has to change.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: UK furlough rules could push Scotland into lockdown within days

Carmichael pointed to the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, who recently said: “How could a Unionist government not restart the scheme if a second lockdown is required in Scotland?

“It cannot be that furlough is not affordable when Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or parts of Northern England need to go into lockdown – but when all of England goes into lockdown, the taps are turned on.”

For the third time, Johnson noticeably avoided giving a straight answer. He repeated that the furlough was UK-wide, and would continue to apply in Scotland.

Johnson faced further questions on the furlough from Welsh representatives, but had little else to say. His repetitions began to provoke jeers from MPs.

Johnson also faced questions from his own backbenchers, who are threatening a rebellion over what they perceive to be draconian and authoritarian lockdown measures.

The Prime Minister also failed to give a target for the English lockdown, insisting instead that it was time-limited, and would end in December regardless of the effect it had had.