THERESA May has been accused of “not lifting a finger” to save the closure-threatened 62 Royal Bank of Scotland branches during a heated clash at Prime Minister’s Questions.

After RBS gave a temporary reprieve to 10 of the branches this week, Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, told MPs that the change of heart had come about because of public pressure in a campaign led by his party.

“On three occasions, I have asked the Prime Minister at PMQs to call Ross McEwan into No 10 Downing Street. Will she accept her responsibilities - given that we own RBS - now that we have saved 10 branches; will she call in Ross McEwan and join us in calling for all the branches to remain open?” asked the Highland MP.

Mrs May said she welcomed the bank’s decision, which, she pointed out, was a commercial one, and stressed how it was important customers, especially vulnerable ones, could call on the services they needed.

She then told Mr Blackford: “If he is so keen on ensuring that people, including perhaps those in remote communities, have access to the services that they need, he should ask himself why the Scottish Government have been such a failure in ensuring that people in remote communities have broadband access to online banking.

“The Scottish Government need to get their act together because, quite simply, Scotland under the Nats is getting left behind,” declared the PM.

The SNP leader hit back, saying: “That was pathetic. The Prime Minister has not lifted a finger; we saved the banks,” he insisted.

Mr Blackford noted how the country had celebrated the achievements of the suffragette movement, which, he said, was about democracy, equality and fairness for women.

“However, today in the United Kingdom, 3.8 million women are not receiving the pension to which they are entitled. A motion in this House last November, which received unanimous cross-party support - the vote was 288 to zero - called on the Government in London to do the right thing. Will the Prime Minister do her bit for gender equality and end the injustice faced by 1950s women?”

Plans to increase the state pension age for women between 2010 and 2020 were initially set out in 1995 but this process was accelerated up by the Lib-Con Coalition Government in 2011, resulting in the state pension age for women due to increase to 65 in November 2018 and to 66 by October 2020.

Campaigners, led by the Women Against State Pension Inequality, argue that women affected by the changes have been required to rethink their retirement plans at relatively short notice and have suffered financial hardship as a result.

Mrs May pointed out that as people were living longer, it was important to equalise the pension age of men and women.

“We are doing that and we are doing it faster. We have already acted to give more protection to the women involved. An extra £1 billion has been put in to ensure that nobody will see their pension entitlement changed by more than 18 months.

“That was a real response to the issue that was being addressed. If he wants to talk about equality, he has to recognise the importance of the equality of the state pension age between men and women,” added the PM.