BORIS Johnson has ruled out another referendum on Scottish independence being held while Europe "is being ravished by the most vicious war since 1945" by Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister issued the call during his speech to the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen – where he highlighted the importance of harnessing the North Sea in the UK’s energy transition and said it would be “crazy” to “turn the taps off” on the oil and gas industry.

Delegates also listened to a powerful speech by Edinburgh-based Ukrainian national Zhenya Dove who heaped praise on the UK Government for playing a leading role in assisting the Ukrainian defence from the Russian invasion.

Mr Johnson, who was given a brief introduction by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross along with an awkward handshake, praised the North East MSP despite him having called for the PM to quit over Partygate only to withdraw it days before the conference began.

The PM said Mr Ross was “the only political leader in Scotland saying loud and clear what should be blindingly obvious to everyone - that this is not the moment to be having another referendum”.

He added: “This is not the time for yet more delectable disputations about the constitution when our European continent is being ravished by the most vicious war since 1945 and when public service and the economy need to recover from the pandemic.

“When we face so many challenges but when we also have so much going for us and so much to look forward to, let’s put that endless confected division behind us and let’s take this country forward in a way that makes us all proud – delivering prosperity and opportunity at home and giving leadership that makes us a force for good around the world.”

He added that "now is the time to go beyond the parochialism and constitutional myopia of the SNP" and called for a focus on driving "forward projects that will bring jobs and growth to the whole UK".

The Prime Minister also pointed the finger at Labour, claiming the party is “so spiritually cowered” that it has “become nothing more than the lapdogs and the enablers of the SNP”.

He added: “Be in no doubt that at any UK general election, it would be those terrible twins, Labour and the Nats – the Scottish nationalist party – each vying to be more left wing, more high taxing, generally hectoring and bossy and nannying that would try to form a coalition.

“Be in no doubt that Labour would rather work with the nationalists to bring down this government than work with us to stop the SNP from breaking up Britain. That is the reality.”

Turning to the North Sea oil and gas sector, Mr Johnson said there was “one crucial way” to stand up to Vladimir Putin as he continues his Ukrainian invasion, by moving to “wean ourselves off dependence on his oil and gas”, insisting that “Scotland will be in the lead”.

The Prime Minister pointed to “doubling down on the UK’s production of offshore wind energy” and “investing in tidal”.

He also brought up# a need to be “making sensible use of this country’s own natural resources”.

Mr Johnson said: “Are we not crazy to shut down domestic production, only to buy oil and gas – at a vast mark-up – from Putin’s Russia? And yet that, unbelievably, is the policy of the SNP and of the Labour party.”

He claimed the UK “can continue to lead the world in cutting carbon emissions” but warned there must be a recognition “that in this transition there will be a continuing role for oil and gas - not least in producing hydrogen”.

Natural gas is needed for blue hydrogen, seen as a key future energy source for Scotland.

Mr Johnson insisted that the SNP and Labour want to “turn the taps off now” and “cap the wells”.

He added: “What a disaster that would be. It means prices up, jobs lost and just when householders are feeling the pinch of high prices.

“And it means exposing the UK to continued blackmail from Putin.

“Together the UK is leading the world in standing up to the hydrocarbon drug-pushing bully of the Kremlin.

“Together we are going to wean ourselves off our addiction and together we are a force for good in the world.”