THE Speaker of the House of Commons told the SNP’s Westminster leader to “calm it down” after a fiery clash with the Prime Minister.

The exchange between Ian Blackford and Boris Johnson came to a head after the SNP MP said the Prime Minister was “too weak” to impose the restrictions a public health-focused approach to Omicron required.

He said Johnson could not get any Covid rules past his “divided cabinet and his mutinous backbenchers”.

In December, the vote on bringing in Covid passports in England passed thanks to Labour votes after nearly 100 Tory MPs rebelled over the issue.

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Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, Blackford went on: “The Prime Minister knows that he doesn't carry the moral authority to protect the public when he's broken previous restrictions himself.

“The public is faced with a prime minister who does not have the political leadership or the authority to act to keep these islands safe.

“So will the Prime Minister finally acknowledge that his ‘riding it out’ is risking lives and the NHS because his backbenchers are now calling the shots.”

Blackford was referring to comments made by Johnson the previous day that, despite rising hospitalisations and record infection levels, he hoped “to ride out this Omicron wave”.

The Tory leader took exception to Blackford’s speech, saying that he should “take back what he said”.

He said the SNP MP should be “respectful of the traditions of this House”, which led to jeers from the opposition benches.

Johnson said Blackford should not “accuse people of things they haven’t done”.

It would appear that Johnson was claiming not to have broken Covid restrictions - despite a slew of allegations around Christmas parties and the publication of a photograph showing Johnson and his wife enjoying a wine and cheese event in a Downing Street garden while the rest of the UK was tightly restricted.

Johnson called the allegations “totally untrue”, which led to fierce criticism from Blackford and other MPs.

The Prime Minister tried to continue talking amid the shouts, leading the Speaker to intervene and call for order.

“I don’t need any advice from anybody over there either,” Lindsay Hoyle said gesturing to the Tory benches. “That’s the last thing we need.”

“I think we need to calm it down. It’s a very important debate that the country is watching. They want to hear what's going on.

“Cat-calling across the chamber is not going to help anybody.”

Given the floor, Johnson called for the nations of the UK to “get on together with a plan that is both balanced and proportionate”.

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To date, England is the only one of the four UK nations not to have imposed further restrictions in an attempt to stem the rising tide of Omicron.

Earlier in the debate, Blackford said this left that nation “out of step” with the rest of the UK, and suggested it was only Johnson’s weak position at the head of the Tory party preventing him from acting.

The Prime Minister’s position has been widely seen as on a shoogly peg, with Ruth Davidson saying in December that who could replace Johnson was being “openly talked about at all levels within the party”.