THE SNP’s Mhairi Black was left bemused at Prime Minister’s Questions after her question on the economy was answered by a rant about the King’s coronation.

At an edition of PMQs which saw deputy leaders take centre stage due to Rishi Sunak being in the US, Black asked Tory minister Oliver Dowden about his party’s management of the economy.

READ MORE: Tory MSP panned after claim Scotland is 'not an attractive place' to live

The SNP’s depute group leader said: “When the Prime Minister took office he said he would put economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government.

“Today, UK interest rates are one of the highest in the G20 and mortgage rates are rising, nearly back to where they were after the former PM crashed the economy.”

She added: “Is it not the case that this government’s biggest achievement is that they’re trashing the economy just a wee bit slower than their predecessor?”

In his response, the deputy prime minister attacked Black for her views on the King’s coronation, which was held on May 6.

Dowden said: “I don’t know whether the honourable lady had been following the news today but actually again the OECD upgraded our growth forecasts.

“And really, one month ago the whole nation came together celebrating that wonderful moment of pomp, pageantry, and pride in our nation. What did the honuorable lady describe it as? I quote, I quote, a pantomime. Well the real pantomime is the SNP in Scotland.”

Black responded by saying she did “not know what question” Dowden had been responding to.

She went on to list Tory government plans such as tax cuts for the richest and the reported £6 billion which is to be spent over two years on detaining and deporting people who arrive in the UK in small boats.

Black asked: “Is the view from the Prime Minister’s luxury helicopter so skewed that during a cost of living crisis he thinks this is what people’s priorities are?”

Sunak has repeatedly used helicopters rather than other forms of transport in recent weeks, including a trip to Kent on Monday that would have been around an hour by train.

Dowden's reference to the coronation was greeted with disdain by SNP MPs. On Twitter, Joanna Cherry said it was "extraordinarily tone deaf" to suggest that the coronation had "somehow [been] compensating" for the cost of living crisis, while John Nicolson quipped: "Ever feel the Tories are a wee bit out of touch?"

READ MORE: UK Government launches legal battle to prevent release of Boris Johnson's WhatsApps

Elsewhere at PMQs, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the UK Government was “obstructing the Covid inquiry” with a judicial review and questioned whether voters would consider the decision a good use of public money.

She said: “They set up the inquiry to get to the truth, then blocked that inquiry from getting the information that it asked for, and now they’re taking it to court.

“Does he think working people will thank him for spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of their money on loophole lawyers, just so the Government can obstruct the Covid inquiry?”

Rayner also raised the Conservative Party 2019 manifesto pledge to ensure the judicial review process is “not abused” or used to “create needless delays”.

She asked: “The Tory manifesto promised to end the abuse of the judicial review – how’s it going?”

The quip landed well in the chamber, even prompting a laugh from the Speaker.

Dowden aimed a jab in return, taking aim at Rayner's expenses claims.

"I find it extraordinary that she should lecture us on value for money for the taxpayer when I understand she has purchased two pairs of noise-cancelling headphones on expenses," he said.

Dowden went on to repeat the Cabinet Office’s assertion that some information in Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp conversations were “wholly and unambiguously irrelevant” and needed to be withheld.

The deputy prime minister said: “We will provide the inquiry with each and every document related to Covid, including all internal discussions in any form as requested, while crucially protecting what is wholly and unambiguously irrelevant.

“Because essentially [Lady Hallett] is calling for years' worth of documents and messages between named individuals to be in scope and that could cover anything from civil servants’ medical conditions to intimate details about their families.”