BORIS Johnson has lashed out at the SNP for focussing on a referendum during the pandemic.

SNP MP Pete Wishart challenged the Prime Minister over his repeated refusal to grant permission for another poll at a session of Westminster’s Liaison Committee today.

The MP for Perth and North Perthshire said the Mr Johnson was talking “utter rubbish” when he said that the 2014 vote was a “once in a generation event” and compared him to Donald Trump.

Mr Wishart asked “if a majority of the Scottish people want their country to be an independent nation, how do they democratically achieve that objective?” to which Mr Johnson said they should have a referendum, like that held in 2014.

The MP then said: “That's just an utter load of rubbish. There was nothing in any of the legal texts about ‘once in a generation’…Are you seriously saying that democracy in Scotland doesn't matter and that a majority shouldn't be respected?

“I can only think of one world leader who has denied democracy like that and he's currently sitting in the White House.”

The Prime Minister hit back at the claims, saying Mr Wishart needed to “ask yourself whether you're seriously saying that right now, in the middle of a pandemic, is whether the people of Scotland or the or the UK or anywhere, think it's sensible to have a referendum on another constitutional issue.”

He said: “ I think it's incredible that the Scottish National Party is focusing on a referendum, when you can't say, by the way, what you want this referendum to discuss.

“You can't say what the prospectus is for the destruction of the United Kingdom.

“Do you want to scrap the army, scrap the pound and scrap the queen?

“What is it? You can't say what your agenda is. All you can say is that you want to break up the UK in some way and I think that the people of this country want to focus on fighting COVID and getting on with building back better together.”

Mr Wishart told the Prime Minister that “he knows” another referendum is coming, to which Mr Johnson could be heard muttering “no I don’t”.

He said: “Let’s have a referendum, we'll put the case why we believe that Scotland should be an independent nation and let the people decide. That's what the Scottish people want.

"You know, Prime Minister. I know, everybody watching this knows, that a referendum is coming. “Why don't you just get on with it?”

Mr Johnson replied: “I think people want to focus on fighting the pandemic and, by the way, one one of the weirdest things I've heard in the last couple of days is that the Scottish Nationalist Party, National party, is so averse to anything that comes from England that I'm told you won't even use the word Oxford vaccine.”

Mr Wishart said his responses showed the “pitiful state” of the Scottish Conservatives and commented: “ I don’t even know why you’re bothering to stand” in the upcoming May elections.