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Theresa May has defended Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt after they were labelled the most incompetent foreign and health secretaries in a century.

In a fierce exchange at prime minister’s questions with the Scottish National party’s Ian Blackford, May said: “Either of the candidates for this high office would do a darn sight better job than anybody sitting on those benches,” pointing to Labour and the SNP.

Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, challenged the prime minister to say whether she would decline to vote for a successor willing to take the UK into a no-deal Brexit.

“Do or die, come what may. Those are the words of the prime minister’s likely successor,” Blackford said, referring to Johnson’s Talkradio interview on Tuesday. “The Tory dream is to drag us out of the EU, no matter the cost.”

Blackford said the prime minister was showing “gross cowardice” by not condemning her successor’s willingness to enact no deal.

“You are asking people to put their faith in the most incompetent foreign secretary in a century, a man who has made a career out of lying, who has spent his week avoiding the media and staging photos and playing to the extreme delusions of the Tory shires,” he said.

“On the other hand, we also have the most incompetent health secretary in our history, a man who writes books on privatising our NHS.”

In an earlier exchange with Jeremy Corbyn, May defended the UK government as the Labour leader challenged her over arms sales toSaudi Arabia.

His comments came after British weapons exports to the Gulf kingdom were ruled unlawful by the court of appeal in a judgment that also accused ministers of ignoring whether airstrikes that killed civilians in Yemen had broken humanitarian law. Read more

Also Read: Rory Stewart: Boris Johnson win would bring DfID tenure to ‘heartbreaking’ end

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