SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has urged the Scottish independence movement to rediscover a “sense of purpose” and argued that independence could be an alternative to Boris Johnson’s “threat to democracy.”

Speaking to the think tank Business for Scotland, Blackford described Westminster as still behaving “as if it was a gentleman’s club.”

Blackford said: “The rules are not fit for purpose, so everything that's happened is really based on the issue that it is a club that’s not fit for purpose, and it's certainly not representative of the interests of the people of Scotland.”

Commenting on the state of the independence movement, Blackford explained there now exists a sense of urgency, more than half-way through the Westminster session and a year into the current Scottish parliamentary term.

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“My message to the [independence] movement is that we need to have that sense of purpose,” Blackford said. “Talking about what a new Scotland should look like, the values that we want to see in an independent Scotland and what kind of country we want to be.

“I hope that once the local elections are out the way, we can really get on to do that, because it's about really persuading people to come with us.

“In the end, what’s going to deliver independence isn't a debate on process - it’s people in Scotland demanding that they wish Scotland to be an independent country, and they see the future as an independent country and one that’s back in Europe. And it's away from everything that’s going on.”

Addressing recent controversies within Westminster, Blackford also commented: “You can talk about the misogyny and the sexism, but you've got at the core a government that's rotten, a government that’s corrupt, and one where the normal rules, normal laws that the public has to follow are not always there.”

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Referring to Boris Johnson, Blackford added: “If you look at it in the context of the UK for just a second, he’s a threat to democracy because he’s undermining and abusing that power of Prime Minister.

“Of course in Scotland, for us there’s an alternative.”