ANOTHER decade of Boris Johnson at the head of the UK Government is the “last thing we need”, a Scottish Government minister has said as they made the case for independence.

Despite two bruising by-election defeats last week followed by the resignation of party chair Oliver Dowden, the Prime Minister has said he is “actively thinking” about fighting the next two general elections to become the longest-serving post-war leader.

But Scottish Greens co-leader and Holyrood minister Lorna Slater said Johnson was “totally unfit” to continue in office and argued Scotland can do better by opting for independence.

The Scottish Government is hoping people will get their say in a referendum planned for October 2023, with a route map to indyref2 to be set out by Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan said another 10 years of Johnson was "too terrifying to contemplate" and independence was the only way to "escape this corrosive Westminster control". 

Slater told The National: "Scotland has already had far too many years of bad Tory governments that we did not vote for. The last thing we need is another damaging decade of Boris Johnson.

“Whether it is the terrible Brexit deal that he negotiated, the hostile environment he has overseen for migrant communities and refugees, his government's addiction to oil and gas exploration, or the devastating cuts to Universal Credit that have plunged so many into poverty, it is clear that he's totally unfit to be Prime Minister.

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“But the problem is much bigger than Boris Johnson. It is the party and the worldview that he represents. Replacing one bad Tory PM with another is not the solution.

“Scotland can do so much better. We can ensure that we are no longer ruled by unaccountable Tory governments that we can't remove.

“With independence, we can have a genuinely representative democracy and not a broken one that is run by an antiquated first past the post system that does not work. We can take a different path and build a fairer, greener and better future for all of us."

The National: Lorna Slater says Scotland does not have to accept another 10 years of Boris JohnsonLorna Slater says Scotland does not have to accept another 10 years of Boris Johnson

Asked at the G7 summit in Germany on Sunday if his ambitions are delusional, Johnson said: “What I’m saying is this is a Government that is getting on with delivering for the people of this country and we’ve got a huge amount to do.”

He said the “golden rule” is to “focus on what we are doing” – to address the cost of living, the “massive” plan for a stronger economy, and “making sure that the UK continues to offer the kind of leadership around the world that I know our people want”.

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan commented: “The damage that would be inflicted on Scotland under 10 more years of Boris Johnson is too terrifying to contemplate.

"Yet despite his obvious incompetence and the sleaze and corruption that reeks from his Government, Johnson’s confidence that he will continue in power for years is not as ridiculous as it should be.

“Against this chaotic regime, Labour should be out of sight in every opinion poll. But under the plodding Keir Starmer, Labour are miles away from ever looking like a Government in waiting.

“The only way for Scotland to escape this corrosive Westminster control is to become an independent country.”

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The Prime Minister is now facing fresh threats to his leadership with MPs discussing defections, fresh letters of no confidence allegedly being sent, and Cabinet ministers considering whether to move against him.

Labour claim that at least six Tory MPs are considering defecting to the party, according to The Sunday Times.

The paper also reports that rebel MPs say they "can't wait until July 2023" to oust Johnson in a second confidence ballot. 

More than 30 MPs are understood to have submitted letters to the 1922 Committee of backbenchers demanding a confidence vote only three weeks after the last ballot - which the Prime Minister narrowly won by 211 votes to 148 - and more letters are expected this week following the devastating by-election defeats in Yorkshire and Devon.

The Tories lost their majority of more than 24,000 in Tiverton and Honiton to the LibDems, the biggest lead to ever be overturned at a by-election. Meanwhile, the red wall seat of Wakefield was returned to Labour after the Tories took it in 2019.

According to The Sunday Times, one former minister under Johnson said they had drafted a letter of no confidence to submit this week. In it, they will call on the 1922 Committee to change the rules to enable another leadership challenge, with Johnson technically safe for a year as things stand.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said he thought it would be wrong to change the rules despite voting no confidence in Johnson.

Cabinet ministers are speaking to MPs this weekend to determine whether Johnson should be chucked out.

One told The Sunday Times: “A few of us are ringing around to see what the mood is and whether the game is up.”