IAN Blackford faced a bizarre taunt from Boris Johnson over the name of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine when he pressed him on what he would be doing at this week's G7 summit to help the world's poorest people.

The SNP's Westminster leader criticised the UK Government's cuts to international aid and told the Prime Minister the pandemic had to be fought through co-operation across the globe.

"In the week of the G7 what kind of world leader washes their hands of responsibility by cutting water and hygiene projects by more than 80% in the middle of a pandemic?" asked Blackford.

Johnson dismissed Blackford's question as "absolutely disgraceful" and listed financial support being given by the UK Government to international vaccination programmes.

He said: "We are continuing to support international vaccination with £1.6 billion has been contributed by this country to Gavi [an international vaccination project] and I think £548 million to Covax.

"Let me just remind him ... one in three of the vaccines being distributed around the world to the poorest and neediest come from the Oxford/AstraZeneca supply. Thanks to the deal this government did."

He added: "Or does the name Oxford/ AstraZeneca still continue to stick in his craw?"

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It is the second time the Prime Minister  has shared a social media conspiracy theory about the Scottish Government apparently being too petty to use the word Oxford when referring to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

In January this year after being told about a seafood firm hit by bureaucracy at the border, the Prime Minister shared the false theory.

Blackford had used his questions during the weekly session then to raise the case of a constituent in Lochaber, who exports shellfish, facing difficulties due to Brexit.

He told MPs: “After loading a lorry of fresh local seafood on Monday, as he’s done for 35 years, his driver faced bureaucracy and delays.

“Brexit red tape now means that £40,000 of his fresh, high quality produce is lost, unable to be sold. That £40,000 produce is income for over 100 local families in many remote and fragile communities.

“Can the Prime Minister tell my constituent where is the sea of opportunity that he and his Scottish Tories promised?”

Johnson responded: “Well, we’re putting £100 million into supporting the fishing industry in Scotland and across the whole of the UK.

“It is the policy of the Scottish nationalist party not just to break up the United Kingdom under their hare-brained scheme, but also to take Scotland back into the EU and hand back control of Scottish fisheries to Brussels, thereby throwing away all those opportunities.”

Blackford challenged Johnson for calling the SNP the Scottish nationalist party, despite having been repeatedly told the party’s correct name. 

He then asked whether there would be an increase in the financial support offered to businesses following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Blackford said: “The European Union have put in place a £5 billion fund to support businesses with the cost of Brexit and last night it was revealed that Ireland is receiving £1bn of it.

"Can the Prime Minister tell Scottish business when they will be getting the same level of support and where’s the compensation for my constituent that’s losing £40,000 today?”

Johnson again avoided the question.

He said: “[Blackford] continually advocates the break-up of the union with the United Kingdom and he continually advocates going back into the European Union, even though that would be immensely destructive to the Scottish economy, to jobs, to livelihoods, to pensions, to the currency.

“As far as I understand it, they’re already spending money in Scotland on indyref2, what they call indyref2, when they should be getting on, Scottish nationalists, should be getting on with fighting the pandemic, that I think is what the people of Scotland want to see.

“He might pay tribute by the way to the merits of the United Kingdom in rolling out a vaccine across the whole of the country and I’m told, by the way, that they can’t even bring themselves to say the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, perhaps he could just say that he likes the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.”