Scotland an ‘England and Wales issue’, Tory tells SNP MP
Kirsty Blackman, the SNP’s MP for Aberdeen North, had written to Chris Grayling asking for clarification regarding which issues would fall under English votes for English laws (Evel).
In the response email, Grayling unwittingly included Scotland in the list, nestled between Local Government and Police (Detention and Bail).
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Blackman said: “I submitted a written question to the Leader of the House asking about English votes on English laws, asking about which Bill would affect England only and which ones would affect England and Wales only.
“Today, I have received a response. In the list for England and Wales only, is included the Scotland Bill.”
After the comment sparked loud laughter, Ms Blackman added: “That was much the response I had. I would appreciate if this could be looked into.”
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow urged the Aberdeen North MP to raise the matter at tomorrow’s debate, adding: “You have certainly entertained your Honourable and Right Honourable friends very fully at this early part of the day.”
However, Ms Blackman was in a less humorous mood when she later spoke to Buzzfeed about the mistake.
She said: “It seems a bit shambolic, they could have scrutinised it a little bit better before sending it to me.
“I know it’s a mistake – well I really hope they don’t think Scotland is the property of England and Wales – but it’s pretty concerning when they’re trying to push through this constitutional change by a standing order rather than legislation.
“It’s really worrying that they’re doing things in a shambolic way with no scrutiny.”
Evel has been highly criticised by both Labour and the SNP.
The nationalists’ Westminster leader Angus Robertson said it will make Scottish MPs ‘second class citizens’, while Ian Murray MP believes the Tories are ‘giving up on the union’ with the plans.