SNP accused of wasting money on ‘bizarre motions’

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson. Picture: PA

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson. Picture: PA

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The SNP has been accused of a “wholesale abuse” of parliamentary motions after the party spent an estimated £160,000 of public money in one year tabling them.

The party has previously come under fire for putting forward bizarre motions - including one to celebrate the 50th birthday of Star Trek.

Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne raised the issue during the business statement, and accused the party of “wholesale abuse and trivialisation” of Early Day Motions, known as EDMs.

David Lidington, leader of the House of Commons, said: “I do think that early day motions are an overrated currency. I was somewhat surprised to see the reports this morning that MPs from the Scottish National Party had been spending so much time tabling early day motions on subjects that range from Christmas trees to the anniversary of the first screening of Star Trek.

“And I think they need to be a little bit careful because a number of us are coming to the conclusion that they find that they haven’t got enough work to do, and I think their constituents would be somewhat shocked at finding that out.”

Figures released to the Press Association show the SNP tabled 590 EDMs in the 2015-16 parliamentary session, at an average cost of £271 each.

This means £159,890 was splashed out on producing them.

An EDM is a formal motion submitted for debate in the House of Commons, although very few are actually debated.

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