SNP's Ian Blackford clashes with Speaker before walkout

SNP's Ian Blackford clashes with Speaker before walkout

Lawmakers from the Scottish National Party (SNP) staged a dramatic walkout from the British parliament on Wednesday after their leader was ordered to leave the House of Commons in a row over Brexit.

Mr Blackford replied that the reality was powers enshrined under the 1998 Scotland Act were being "grabbed back" by Whitehall and Scottish MPs were "not given the courtesy of even debating it last night; it's a democratic outrage".

Conservatives accused Mr Blackford of orchestrating a publicity stunt because Mr Bercow had agreed to hear his motion for the House to sit in private - which would have required a vote and disrupted PMQs - at the end of the session instead.

"Let's discuss the power grab that is coming from Westminster".

All of the SNP's 35 MPs then stood up and walked out collectively. Proceedings on the EU Withdrawal Bill last night were a democratic outrage and the Scottish Parliament must be respected. "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?" The SNP calls it a "power grab", something the United Kingdom government denies.

Blackford was unhappy with the government's approach to the European Union withdrawal bill.

"They are the masters of manufactured grievance and the people of Scotland are sick of it".

As Blackford left, he was joined by his colleagues, some of whom jeered and gesticulated at the Conservative MPs opposite.

"Under the power given to me by Standing order no.43 order in light of the repeated refusal to resume his seat on instruction I order the right honourable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the house for the remainder of this days sitting", the speaker said.

Marching orders Speaker John Bercow told Mr Blackford to leave
Marching orders Speaker John Bercow told Mr Blackford to leave

He said: "This ridiculous stunt may grab headlines, but its impact demonstrates just how little the SNP really cares about stopping the Tories' reckless hard Brexit".

The SNP says it will now seek to build a new power-sharing deal for Scotland, Brexit minister Michael Russell told Reuters.

SNP MPs are simply seeking to represent the views of their constituents.

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.

The Scottish Secretary will deliver a Commons statement today giving MPs the chance to debate Brexit and devolution. I am, however, disappointed that we didn't have more time for the debate.

The SNP's deputy Westminster leader, Kirsty Blackman, said Mr Mundell's statement "must be his resignation".

The SNP claimed it had gained 1,100 new members in the hours after the clash at Prime Minister's Questions.

"We need to, we will and we must stand up and defend Scotland's interests".

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