SNP MPs dramatically walked out of the House of Commons today after Ian Blackford was suspended for the day’s session after refusing to sit down when ordered by Speaker John Bercow.
Reaction to the walk-out has been mixed, with some praising the action as drawing attention to the issue of post-Brexit devolution and others dimissing it as little more than a stunt.
Nicola Sturgeon: “Right behind Ian Blackford and SNP MPs. Scotland and the Scottish Parliament are being treated with contempt by Westminster and it needs to be highlighted”
Ruth Davidson: “Questions tabled to the PM going unasked, a debate that was likely to be granted by the Speaker shunned, all so the SNP could pull a manufactured stunt. Grievo max”
David Mundell: “The SNP was about to be granted a debate on how the devolution aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill. Disappointed, if not surprised, that if they really felt so strongly about it, they chose a stunt over holding the Government to account”
Labour MP Ged Killen: “Still trying to understand the logic of what SNP have just done in #PMQs. They were down to ask 5 Qs to PM and Ian Blackford had an application for an emergency debate coming up. Is this suppose to help Scotland’s voice be heard or just get Blackford on tonight’s news?”
Former SNP MSP Marco Biagi: “It all got very 1980s in #PMQs today. And as we know, those were the SNP’s most successful years”
Tory MP Nadine Dorries: The SNP pulled a choreographed stunt in the chamber today, some of them gesticulating and shouting as though they were in a pub brawl as they left. Their frustration at having zero power or impact is beginning to show”
Scotsman columnist Lesley Riddoch: “The SNP’s reward for abiding by Westminster’s rules has been the coldest of cold shoulders. Ian Blackford totally right to stop playing nice and force political and media attention onto Britain’s second largest nation. As the Nordics say, fortune favours the bold”
Journalist Michael Deacon: “Rewatching the SNP stunt. Particularly enjoy Joanna Cherry glaring at Tories while snapping, “Funny, is it? Is it funny? Is it funny?” like a Scottish Joe Pesci
Former Lib Dems leader Tim Farron: “You pulled a daft stunt and you silenced yourself. I speak from experience - we tried the same choreographed hissy-fit once (Lisbon treaty 2008) and we looked as shallow and pointless then as you do today”
Green MP Caroline Lucas: “Completely sympathise with the SNP MPs who just walked out. Devolution completely squeezed out of yesterday’s debate. If you’re wondering who is to blame for this chaos. It’s not the SNP. It’s not the Speaker. It’s the anti-democratic Tories”