FORMER first minister Alex Salmond has called on pro-independence supporters to keep the PM firmly inside Downing Street – labelling the chaotic string of events engulfing Boris Johnson as “Scotland’s democratic opportunity”.

The Prime Minister's administration has faced weeks of criticism and controversy which began when attempts were made to change rules after Tory MP Owen Paterson was found to have broken lobbying regulations.

A string of reported lockdown parties by UK Government officials has triggered an angry backlash, as well as concern over the handling of an investigation into Downing Street renovations.

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The fiasco has led to the Conservatives plummeting in recent polls while the SNP have consistently called for the PM to resign for his part in the controversy.

But Mr Salmond, who now leads Alba, has called for the PM to remain in power to boost support for Scottish independence.

Mr Salmond, who failed in his attempt to be elected at May’s Holyrood election, posed “a few political quiz questions”, including “why would any real believer in Scottish independence want the weak and chaotic Boris Johnson out of Downing Street to be replaced by a ‘more competent’ unionist politician?”

He added: “Why is Scottish self-determination the only democratic test delayed by a pandemic during which there has been a Scottish general election, local elections and English by-elections?

“What better circumstances could there possibly be for pressing the case for Scottish independence, than the present Westminster chaos - are Boris’s political difficulties not Scotland’s democratic opportunity?”

But SNP MP Stewart McDonald replied, simply saying that “because unlike those at the Russian state broadcaster” which hosts the Alex Salmond Show, “we don’t hate our neighbours”.

Nicola Sturgeon has called for the PM to step aside amid the scandals engulfing the UK Government, warning that “the principles and values of openness, integrity and transparency matter to all of us who care about democracy in this country”.

She added: “Boris Johnson has many questions to answer.

“I do not think that it is simply a corrupt incumbent of number 10 that has to go - I think that it is time for Scotland to get rid of the whole broken, corrupt Westminster system that is holding us back, and we can do that only by becoming an independent country.”