A TORY MP has been accused of “tying himself in knots” during an interview in which he was shown a video of himself defending Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-Budget during an interview. 

John Lamont, who serves as MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, appeared on BBC’s The Sunday Show where he was asked about Jeremy Hunt’s autumn Budget. 

Truss and Kwarteng’s mini-Budget led to a period of economic turmoil which resulted in interventions from the Bank of England as well as a steep decline in the pound. 

Lamont was recently appointed as parliamentary under secretary of state in the Scotland Office. 

Asked if he backed Hunt’s latest fiscal announcement, Lamont said: “Absolutely. I mean we are living in unprecedented times.

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“Whether that’s because of the war in Ukraine and the impact that’s having on energy prices or the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, they are global challenges which we are not immune from in Scotland or across the United Kingdom.”

However, presenter Martin Geissler then pointed out how things were about to get “awkward” as he showed a video of Lamont defending the mini-Budget. 

The video showed the MP stating the “radical departure” was required, that he supported tax cuts and that the “big question” for the Scottish Government was whether or not they matched the measures. 

Douglas Ross also called for the changes made at the time to be matched. 

Geissler said: “So, two months ago, you supported the biggest tax cuts in 50 years and now you support the biggest fiscal tightening since 2010.

“That’s quite the journey you’ve been on Mr Lamont isn’t it.”

The Tory MP replied: “Well whole countries have been on a journey since then.”

Geissler interrupted to say that the reason for this was because the policies Lamont backed were a “total disaster”. 

Lamont added: “Well I’m sure your viewers want to hear my answer Martin if I just finish the point I was making.

“We still face those challenges, clearly the previous prime minister Liz Truss and the previous chancellor put forward their plans, the markets did not respond positively to those changes. 

“They’re no longer in position, we have a new Chancellor putting forward a new set of proposals which clearly have the confidence of the markets I think, more confidence across the country, certainly in terms of ensuring the most vulnerable people in our society, whether they’re my constituents in the Borders or across Scotland, I think they’re getting the support that they need.”

Geissler then grilled Lamont on the lack of “contrition” from the government. The MP replied: “Well, I think that’s wrong. The Prime Minister was very clear, Rishi Sunak was very clear when he entered Downing Street that mistakes had been made and he was going to put them right and I believe he is doing that.”

Many took to Twitter to slam Lamont, who said people were “greatly reassured” by the latest measures.

SNP MSP Elena Whitham said: “Lamont tying himself in knots on Sunday Show as he tried to disengage himself from his disastrous former PM’s fiscal vandalism refusing to accept despite consequentials to come, Scot Gov still working with a budget worth substantially less than it was at the beginning of the year.”

National columnist Lesley Riddoch said on Twitter: “Tory MP John Lamont has no explanation or apology (but loads of blether) after video of his support for Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget 8 weeks ago was played to him on #BBCSundayShow. Terrific, persistent questioning by @mmgeissler. Well worth a shufty on player. Starts 10.18.”

SNP MP Pete Wishart was also among those to criticise Lamont although he didn’t feel Geissler went far enough with his questioning. 

He wrote on social media: “Oh dear! New Scotland Office Minister John Lamont being reminded of his support for Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget and his insistence the SNP should impose this disaster on Scotland. 

“Uncomfortable. Martin Geissler let him off very gently…”

Another user described the interview as a “car crash” whilst another said it was “comedy gold”. 

In the same interview, Lamont was criticised for failing to list a single benefit of Brexit apart from trade.  

The MP was pressed about reports of a Swiss-style deal with the EU, which he denied as did Health Secretary Steve Barclay. 

He said Brexit presented people with “massive opportunities” with Geissler suggesting nobody had truly benefited. 

Lamont said: “The opportunities that Brexit present are significant and I think as a country we should be focusing on those opportunities and moving forward together whether that’s the opportunities of trade or our young people taking advantage of the Turin exchange scheme.”

SNP MSP Emma Roddick said the Tories have a “brass neck” to claim Scotland had benefited from Brexit. 

She said: “Brexit has been devastating for Scotland - robbing our young people of the opportunity to study and work across the EU, soaring costs and paperwork for our businesses and hammering Scotland’s exports to the tune of £2.2 billion; all against Scotland’s democratic will.

“Only the full powers of independence can protect Scotland from the economic damage of Brexit and Westminster control by Tory governments that Scotland has rejected since the 1950s.”