SNP MP calls for full debate on English votes plan

Pete Wishart says the plans are being rushed through. Picture: DC Thomson & Co. Ltd
Pete Wishart says the plans are being rushed through. Picture: DC Thomson & Co. Ltd
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The government’s proposals for English votes for English laws have been branded a “state secret” by the chairman of the Scottish affairs committee as he called for a proper debate on the measures.

SNP MP Pete Wishart claimed that the plans were being “rushed through at breakneck speed” as he urged the government to be clearer about what was intended and what was proposed, as well as the timing of proposals.

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate, the MP for Perth and North Perthshire said: “You would think something of such constitutional significance, something of such historical importance would be subject to the utmost parliamentary scrutiny.”

He added: “Is it a state secret about what they are trying to do with English votes for English laws, because we do need this debate, we have to try and understand what is going on, because this is something that will impact on my rights to represent effectively my constituents in the house.”

Mr Wishart spoke a day after the SNP’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, raised a point of order in the House of Commons.

He asked speaker John Bercow if the government had informed him that proposals to restrict Scottish MPs’ voting rights would be introduced in the chamber today.

Mr Wishart described the measures as a “sort of Evel [Endligh votes for English laws] hokey cokey”.

He said: “Have you ever heard anything so bizarre and absurd, we leave the English members to do all the work then we decide whether we like it or not, no wonder there are so many English members that are furious about these suggestions and these proposals.”