SNP's Hannah Bardell blasts 'farcical' House of Commons in PMQ walkout

Ian Blackford

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

In developments that stunned MPs during Prime Minister's Questions, the Nationalist leader attacked the Conservative Government, which he said was implementing, through its legislation, a power-grab against Holyrood and had not even given Scottish MPs the chance to debate it during Tuesday's consideration of the Bill.

Labour MP Ian Murray blamed the government for the lack of debating time, saying United Kingdom ministers could have ensured votes did not take away from the time available for members to speak.

The facts of the matter are straightforward: Ian Blackford MP used a standing order to call for the House of Commons to sit in private and call a division, following the Prime Minister's failure to bring forward emergency legislation on the EU Withdrawal Bill. His fellow MPs then followed him out of the chamber.

He blamed Labour for the lack of debating time, saying there would have been "much, much more time" if Jeremy Corbyn's party had not pushed for so many votes to be held.

"The SNP MPs today made sure that issue was highlighted and they did it in the only way open to them".

Most Scottish lawmakers are unhappy at a clause in the European Union withdrawal bill that temporarily restricts the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh assembly's powers, leaving them in the hands of the United Kingdom government while the rules governing Britain after Brexit are redrawn.

"Scotland's voice has not been heard. that's a democratic outrage", he said.

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The SNP later said it had attracted 1,000 new members in the immediate aftermath of the row.

She said: "The conduct of MPs across the Westminster parties yesterday was pretty despicable - particularly the Conservatives". The SNP calls it a "power grab", something the United Kingdom government denies.

He claimed that the PM and her colleagues had broken constitutional convention and "plunged Scotland into a constitutional crisis".

"If it was simply disrespect to SNP MPs, that would be one thing".

Mike Russell, the Scottish Government's Brexit minister, branded the UK Government a "travesty and a disgrace", asking "How can any meaningful negotiation take place after that?"

"The convention that has underpinned devolution for nigh on 20 years now has been ripped up by the United Kingdom government", she said. Let me be clear, the SNP shall not "sit down" and allow the people of Scotland to be treated in this way. Proceedings on the EU Withdrawal Bill last night were a democratic outrage and the Scottish Parliament must be respected.

It is regrettable that, on the same day that suicide prevention was being discussed in the Scottish Parliament, an MP would apparently use suicide as a slur towards their colleagues.

Mr Mundell, is expected make a Commons statement on Thursday on Brexit and devolution.

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