Gaza ceasefire vote: SNP's Stephen Flynn accuses Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle of 'lying' to Parliament

Stephen Flynn says he feels ‘vindicated’ by calling for the speaker to resign over the chaotic Gaza ceasefire vote

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has accused Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle of “lying” to Parliament after rejecting a Gaza ceasefire vote.

Mr Flynn claimed he had been “vindicated” after saying last week the Speaker’s position was no longer tenable.

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The Speaker on Monday rejected the SNP’s request for an emergency debate on a Gaza ceasefire, saying the government was “ready to make a relevant statement”.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn. Image: House of Commons/UK Parliament.SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn. Image: House of Commons/UK Parliament.
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn. Image: House of Commons/UK Parliament.

It came after chaotic scenes took over the House of Commons last week when Sir Lindsay allowed a Labour amendment to be voted on instead of an SNP motion on a ceasefire in the region.

Following this the SNP had wanted a fresh debate on the matter to mandate the government take “tangible steps” to ensure a ceasefire happens, by stopping the sale of arms to Israel and pushing for a vote on an immediate ceasefire at the UN Security Council.

However, the Speaker said the SNP’s request did not meet Commons criteria, and rejected the call for a debate.

Mr Flynn said he was “very disheartened”, accusing Sir Lindsay of breaking the rules.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Flynn said: “In his explanation, he clearly said the SNP would be given the opportunity to vote on what’s called a section 24 motion in the coming days.

“So acting in very good faith, my colleagues and I sought to progress the debate to discuss the ending of arms sales to Israel and a vote at the UN in favour of a ceasefire so there are tangible next steps.

“Lindsay Hoyle took the decision to break his word. He broke the rules and now he has broken his word, which leaves us in a very challenging position.”

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There will instead be a question-and-answer session on the matter with a government minister. But Mr Flynn said this was “not comparable” to getting a debate and a vote.

He said: “We are trying to change the trajectory of UK foreign policy.

“We have managed to do that with the Labour Party and drag them to the point of backing an immediate ceasefire, but now we need to focus on what comes next and ensuring the UK votes in favour of an immediate ceasefire.

“The only way to facilitate that would be to have that debate in the Commons, but the Speaker lied not just to the SNP, but to the entire parliamentary chamber and the public.”

Following last week’s Gaza vote, Mr Flynn had called for the Speaker to resign over the matter.

On Tuesday, the Aberdeen South MP added: “A few folk suggested I had jumped the gun when I said Lindsay Hoyle’s position was no longer tenable. I feel vindicated because he told the SNP one thing and turned his back on that, flying in the face of precedent.”



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