SNP MPs cause uproar as they walk out of PMQs with Blackford


Scotland's brexit minister Michael Russell MSP addresses the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain, June 9, 2018.

His response has led to calls for his resignation with Mr Blackford 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".

Blackford had initially stated: "The Prime Minister gave a commitment that she would treat Scotland as part of the union of equals".

While Conservatives at Westminster say some of these must come to Parliament to allow for common frameworks to be established in areas such as agriculture and environmental regulations, ministers at Holyrood fear the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be restrained for up to seven years. "But what we saw yesterday was deep disrespect for Scotland and it proved very powerfully that the Westminster system simply does not serve Scotland's interests".

He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "Even if we had had 100 hours of debate the outcome wouldn't have changed because the SNP and Scottish Government position is exactly the same as it was on day one of this Bill". That is a democratic outrage.

This week, the Tory Government made a decision to press ahead with its power-grab to keep Scotland's powers in London - not in Scotland.

Posting on his Facebook page just minutes after the controversy, Mr Blackford said he had demanded that the Commons pass emergency legislation to protect the devolution settlement from what he termed the United Kingdom "power grab".

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

Mr Blackford was suspended for the day's session after refusing to sit down when ordered by the Commons speaker, John Bercow. Yet last night she pressed ahead with a power-grab in direct opposition to Scotland's elected Parliament.

We will use every device, opportunity and avenue to ensure Scotland's voice is heard. "But the Prime Minister has ignored Scotland". This will rightly haunt the Scottish Tories for a generation.

Asked by reporters if it was a stunt, he replied: "Under standing orders I was entitled to push for that vote today on the basis of the lack of respect that the Conservative government and Theresa May have shown".

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 by the Government.

He said he was "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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