DEPUTY Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has been mocked and jeered after trying to patronise his SNP counterpart in the Commons only to reveal an ignorance of Scottish politics.

"I don't know whether she's aware, but the SNP have been in power for 13 years,” he wrongly informed Mhairi Black.

With Rishi Sunak attending the Council of Europe summit in Iceland, the Hertsmere MP was standing in at PMQs, where other parties also fielded their deputy leaders.

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Ms Black, the SNP's deputy leader at Westminster, asked Mr Dowden about problems with Brexit.

She said: “Just today the world's fourth largest car manufacturer said that Brexit was, and again I quote, ‘A threat to our export business and the sustainability of our UK manufacturing options’. 

“Even Nigel Farage can admit that Brexit has failed. So, Mr. Speaker, why can't he?”

Mr Dowden replied: “I would say to the honourable lady, one of the best ways of getting behind industry in this country is getting behind the trade deals we’re striking with many countries around the world, which they've singularly failed to oppose [sic].

“I see last week, the SNP promised to build a new Scotland.

“I don't know whether she's aware, but the SNP have been in power for 13 years.”

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The remark provoked loud laughter in the Commons, with SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn jabbed a finger at the ceiling, indicating the true figure was higher.

It is the Tories who have been in power for 13 years, after taking office in 2010. 

The SNP has been in power for 16 years, after taking office in 2007.

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Polls also suggest the Tories’ run will end at 14 years at the general election expected in 2024, while the SNP will be in power for at least 19 years, until the 2026 Holyrood election.

His voice less confident as he appeared to sense a problem, Mr Dowden continued: “They should stop their focus on independence and focus on the priorities of the Scottish people.”

Former Tory health Secretary Matt Hancock later called Mr Dowden’s performance “brilliant”.