SNP's Ian Blackford clashes with Speaker before walkout


SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "I'm afraid the normal relationships between the Scottish and Westminster governments have to be impacted by this".

Today's walkout from Prime Ministers Questions by me and my SNP colleagues was an act of defiance, a protest motivated by despair that Scotland's voice was being silenced at a time when we are at risk of significant fallout from Brexit and a deceitful grab of our devolved powers.

John Bercow had ordered Mr Blackford to leave after he stood and repeatedly said: "Scotland will not be disrespected by this parliament".

Earlier Bercow completely lost control of the Commons as the SNP raged about the cutting short of a debate on devolution last night.

Mr Blackford hit back at the Scottish Secretary, saying he "should be there to defend Scotland's interests and he has sat back and did nothing to defend the interests of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people, he should be utterly ashamed of himself".

He made the weird and telling claim that 'even if we'd had 100 hours of debate, the situation wouldn't have changed, ' proving the United Kingdom government's contempt for Scottish devolution and desire to rollback the powers of the devolved parliament.

He insisted what had happened in the Commons was a "democratic outrage", adding: "Without debate, without the voices of Scottish MPs being heard, the government pushed through these amendments to rip out the powers from the Scottish Parliament".

"Yet last night she pressed ahead with a power-grab in direct opposition to Scotland's elected Parliament".

The unprecedented event brought PMQs to a temporary halt as Mr Bercow refused his demands.

"We hear from the Prime Minister about respecting devolution".

The suspension prompted all SNP MPs to walk out of Commons chamber, pointing and jeering at Tory MPs. "Not one single Scottish MP was able to speak in that debate", he added. Proceedings on the EU Withdrawal Bill last night were a democratic outrage and the Scottish Parliament must be respected. The SNP calls it a "power grab", something the United Kingdom government denies.

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.

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