By North and Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson (SNP).

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AS the Prime Minister was holed up in Downing Street last week desperately trying to avert his seemingly inevitable downfall, the UK has the highest rate of inflation in over 40 years, energy costs spiralling out of control and households struggling to make ends meet.

Meanwhile, the chaos and shambles at the Tory Government’s heart is clear for all to see.

An astonishing 26 Government Ministers appointed by Boris Johnson and an equal number of Parliamentary Private Secretaries resigned in a single day, by far the largest mass ministerial resignation in modern British history, before Mr Johnson finally threw in the towel.

We may well wonder why this took so long, given the Prime Minister has bumbled and stumbled throughout his entire premiership.

Indeed, he is still under investigation by MPs of the Westminster Privileges Committee for having potentially deliberately misled Parliament in statements he made in the House about alleged breaches of lockdown rules in Downing Street.

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This might constitute a contempt of Parliament. It’s a separate inquiry from those conducted by the Metropolitan Police and senior civil servant Sue Gray, into so-called ‘partygate’.

The sanction imposed if found guilty could result in a recall petition, whereby Mr Johnson could lose his Westminster seat.

Many MPs, including numerous Tories, are deeply unhappy that Mr Johnson will continue in Downing Street until the autumn, whilst a Tory leadership election takes place.

Without the confidence of his own MPs at a time of national crisis, the business of Government is in a state of paralysis as this lame-duck Prime Minister himself conceded he will make no big decisions in the interim.

Added to this, we have witnessed the undignified scenes of Mr Johnson scrabbling round to find someone – anyone it seems – to fill important Cabinet posts resulting in the shambles of three Education Secretaries in 24 hours!

Even in his resignation speech, the defiant Prime Minister took a swipe at his own MPs, blaming their “herd instinct” for their loss of confidence in him.

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However, he was also careful not to mention a date for his departure, perhaps because there is now intense pressure on the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs to speed up the transition to a new Prime Minister.

This is especially so given that there is expected to be a no-confidence vote regarding Mr Johnson at Westminster this week.

The question is, how will Tory MPs, who last week proclaimed their lack of confidence in their own Prime Minister, vote in such a scenario?

If Mr Johnson loses this vote he would surely have to leave office immediately and hand over to an interim leader.

Undoubtedly, the events of the past week, months and years of Westminster chaos have shown exactly why Scotland needs to forge its own path as an independent country.

Now more than ever, it’s time for Scotland escape this broken Westminster system.

As an independent country Scotland can escape the Westminster shenanigans for good and build a wealthier, fairer and more compassionate nation.