There will be a “wave of revulsion” in Scotland if Boris Johnson returns to No 10, the SNP’s Westminster leader has said.
The former prime minister was reported to be returning from the Caribbean as he is being touted as a leadership candidate to take over from Liz Truss less than two months after she left office.
Johnson has not announced plans to run for leader, but is believed to have the support of dozens of MPs.
But Ian Blackford has attacked the former Tory leader and called for a general election.
Talk of Mr Johnson’s return to the top job has also been met with resistance within the Conservative party, including Douglas Ross, who reportedly told the BBC he thought it would be a “disaster”.
Johnson was regularly one of the most unpopular political leaders in polls of Scots.
“We have a Conservative government that is out of touch and, if I may say so, out of time,” Blackford told BBC Radio Scotland on Friday.
“As we are talking about this this morning, there is a real concern that the Tories will want to re-impose Boris Johnson on us – I think there will be a wave of revulsion across Scotland.”
He added: “You really have to think that the Tories have learned nothing from what we’ve been through and why Boris Johnson had to be swept out of office.
“We cannot continue to see Parliament as a personal game of those on the Tory right who want to enact the policies they have been making.”
The SNP Westminster leader said it was in the national interest for the Tories to realize “that time is up” and call an election.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the former prime minister’s plans to return to Downing Street was “ridiculous”.
And Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said it would be “ludicrous and ridiculous”.
Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice told BBC Scotland’s The Nine on Thursday that it was “inconceivable” that Tory MPs would put Johnson back in Downing Street.
“Boris Johnson is still under investigation by the Privileges Committee of the House of Commons,” he said.
“Frankly, I think it’s inconceivable that Tory MPs want to put them back into the situation where, whether or not what Boris Johnson said in defending the party door was the truth or not, they want to go back and revisit this psychodrama .
“It is also abundantly clear from the reaction of some Tory MPs tonight that the prospect of Boris Johnson running is probably the least likely of these three candidates (including Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt) to unite the party “.
Meanwhile, Scotland Office minister Lord Offord told the same program that having three prime ministers in three months was not an “ideal situation”.
But he said the UK government has a mandate from the 2019 general election and there should not be another vote.
When asked about the possibility of Boris Johnson returning, Lord Offord said it was not about “any individual’s personality” but about making sure a prime minister “stands up and delivers the mandate that is He gave them in 2019.”
He also refused to say who he would like to see as the new occupant of No 10, saying: “That is a matter for MPs and they have to put forward their nominations.”
Asked if the truncated leadership election would stifle debate, Lord Offord said: “We had six weeks of debate and it didn’t work too well, did it?”