SNP's Ian Blackford clashes with Speaker before walkout

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

SNP MPs led by their Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, staged a walkout at PMQs after Speaker of the House John Bercow refused a request for an immediate vote on the motion "that this House sit in private".

When Blackford refused to accept this, Bercow repeatedly told him to resume his seat, before calling for the party's Westminster leader to leave.

MPs from the party walked out of the question session in protest, with many shouting "bye!" as they left.

"Having broken constitutional convention and plunged Scotland into a constitutional crisis, will the prime minister now commit to bringing forward emergency legislation so that the will of the Scottish Parliament can be heard and more importantly respected?"

"I have a duty on behalf of my colleagues, on behalf of the First Minister and the government of Scotland and of the Parliament of Scotland, to stand up against the betrayal that has taken place of the Scottish people with the unprecedented power grab which is taking place".

Rising to ask a question during the session, Blackford said: "The Prime Minister gave a commitment that she would treat Scotland as a union of equals".

What had Ian Blackford said?

But Theresa May retorted: "We do expect that the outcome of Brexit will be a significant increase in Holyrood power".

"It's not the case this is a power grab".

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber riled Mr Bercow after he refused to sit down in a debate over Brexit devolution, which he labelled a "power grab" from Scotland.

He was followed by fellow SNP MPs who stormed out of the Commons to the sound of jeering.

Speaking afterward, Blackford said: "I called for the House to sit in private - using parliament's own procedures to ensure Scotland's voice is heard on Brexit".

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she was "right behind" Mr Blackford and accused Westminster of treating Scotland with "contempt".

That caused widespread anger north of the border and accusations by the SNP that Prime Minister Theresa May's government is ignoring Scotland.

Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, called for a vote after lambasting the way in which the section of the EU Withdrawal Bill pertaining to devolved powers was rammed through parliament on Tuesday [12 June], with only 15 minutes of debate and no Scottish MPs being called to speak.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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