IAN Blackford fired back at the Prime Minister’s Tory conference speech, dubbing him the “ultimate snake oil salesman”.

Boris Johnson used his keynote address to make a jibe at the SNP Westminster leader’s expense.

The Prime Minister joked that fibre-optic broadband is so good that it now stretches to hard to reach places, such as Blackford’s “billiard room” on his croft.

But the SNP Westminster leader was quick to retort to the barb and called out the Prime Minister for pushing ahead with the “callous” cut to the Universal Credit £20 uplift, which was removed today, and will plunge thousands into poverty.

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Blackford said the 45-minute speech was full of “waffle and deflection” and said the Tory rank and file were having a “good laugh” at everyone elses expenses.

Speaking after Johnson’s speech, Blackford said: "Boris Johnson's shameless attempt to shift the blame onto anyone but himself will do nothing to fix the crisis he has caused with his disastrous hard Brexit and cruel Tory cuts.

"For all the waffle and deflection, the Prime Minister cannot escape the fact that millions of families are poorer and worse off as a direct result of his government's damaging policies.

"The Tory rank and file might have had a good laugh - but it is at everyone else’s expense. Outside in the real world, no one whose universal credit is being cut today by this cruel Tory government is laughing.”

It came as Johnson only made brief references to Scotland and the Union, keeping in line with his policy of not talking about independence amid fears it makes the UK Government appear “needy” and only helps the Yes side.

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Blackford added: "The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and the long-term damage of Brexit is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to regain our place in Europe and build a strong, fair and green recovery.

"Under Boris Johnson, the UK has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north west Europe, and the highest levels of in-work poverty this century.

“Real wages have fallen and Tory Universal Credit cuts and regressive tax hikes will push even more families into poverty - but just like Thatcher the Prime Minister failed to express an ounce of regret.”

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Blackford then hit out at the disastrous Brexit policy the UK Government pursued during the pandemic.

He added: "The Prime Minister is the ultimate snake oil salesman with empty promises of jam tomorrow, when in reality his Brexit deal has been a disaster - costing Scotland billions of pounds, causing UK exports to collapse, hitting businesses by millions a week, and resulting in rising prices, severe staffing shortages and empty supermarket shelves.

"Scotland will always be vulnerable under Westminster control - and only independence offers the chance of a fairer future."