‘Looks ridiculous!’ Blackford mocked as SNP ‘in absolute chaos’ over pension remarks

SNP is in 'absolute chaos' over pensions says Donald Cameron

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Conservative MSP Donald Cameron spoke to Express.co.uk about Ian Blackford’s pensions comments where Scots should be “compensated” by the UK Government if they become independent. The comments caused fractures among the SNP ranks as leaders scrambled to clarify their position and said Scotland would be paying Scottish pensions. Mr Cameron said the party was in “absolute chaos” over the issue and made SNP look “ridiculous” among their voters.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Cameron discussed the comments and mocked Mr Blackford.

He said: “They have made themselves look ridiculous because Ian Blackford made the comments initially then appeared to walk them back.

“Nicola Sturgeon suggested the position was different and then recently other SNP MPs have gone back to the original position that Blackford espoused.

“To be honest, they’re in absolute chaos, the case for independence has never been weaker.

“And the position on pensions, which seems to change with every day, is an indication that the SNP have no answers to the fundamental questions that are posed when we consider the future of the Union and the finances of an independent Scotland.”

Mr Blackford claims he was misrepresented in his comments and said Scots who have paid National Insurance and other pension payments should be properly “compensated” for their contributions.

He said: “The important point is that those that have contributed while we have been part of the UK have an entitlement for a pension, and indeed that was made clear by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury at the time of the independence referendum in 2014.

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“So that commitment to continue to pay pensions rests with the UK Government.

“That’s no different to a UK citizen that chooses, for example, to live in Canada or Spain or France or anywhere else. That commitment to receive your pension remains in place.”

Ms Sturgeon said an independent Scotland would be liable for the pensions after weeks of confusion.

It comes as reports suggest Mr Blackford may step down as Westminster leader for the SNP.

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Mr Blackford admitted in an interview earlier this week that the priority for Scotland right now must be the war in Ukraine, as he appeared to endorse putting Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a second referendum by the end of next year on hold.

He said: “To those that are expressing a desire for us to get on with our job, of course, we will do so, but we have to be mindful of where we are.”

Politico reports four officials have told them of Mr Blackford’s desire to move on from his current role.

One said there was a lack of leadership coming from the party’s chief in Westminster, with his performance failing to inspire MPs.

There have also been claims of internal frictions over the way he has responded to the major political debates in Westminster.

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