SNP Westminster leader kicked out of PMQs after challenging Speaker

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Prime Minister’s Questions was plunged into chaos after the SNP’s Westminster leader was kicked out for repeatedly challenging Speaker John Bercow.

Ian Blackford defied numerous demands to retake his seat after he claimed Scotland was being sidelined in Brexit debates.

Mr Bercow ordered him to leave the chamber and said he could not return for the rest of the day.

Ian Blackford speaks in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions
Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions (PA)

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 at the end of the question session.

Mr Blackford said the SNP would take the Government on “every way” including through parliamentary devices.

SNP MPs walk out of the House of Commons
SNP MPs walk out of the House of Commons (PA)

“I asked the Prime Minister to bring in emergency legislation so we can conduct a proper debate, with respect, on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. Let’s discuss the power grab that is coming from Westminster.

“That is not acceptable and the Speaker refused to allow a division which I rightly called for. It is an absolute disgrace.

“My job, my colleagues’ job, is to stand up for the powers of the Scottish Parliament. I will do that.”

The Speaker can kick out MPs who “disregard” his authority.

Labour’s Dennis Skinner has been ordered out for the day four times since 1992.

Mr Blackford is the ninth MP to be asked to withdraw for the remainder of the day over that period.

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

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the SNP was about to be granted a debate on the devolution aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

He added: “Disappointed, if not surprised, that if they really felt so strongly about it, they chose a stunt over holding the Government to account.”

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