Chaos reigns in the House

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JEN­NIFER McKIERNAN

Prime Min­is­ter’s Ques­tions is nor­mally a the­atri­cal high point in the par­lia­men­tary week, as the lead­ers go head-to-head to prove they can think on their feet.

But chaos and con­fu­sion reigned in the Com­mons yes­ter­day, as SNP West­min­ster leader Ian Black­ford de­liv­ered a show­stop­per.

He used an ar­cane West­min­ster rule to de­mand an im­me­di­ate vote in the mid­dle of the set­piece, send­ing be­wigged clerks scat­ter­ing for ad­vice.

The Speaker ap­par­ently fell into a bear trap by tak­ing what ap­peared to be the path of least re­sis­tance and rul­ing a vote should hap­pen after PMQs, only to be met with cries of “now!” from the SNP benches.

With the Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Mr Black­ford de­fi­antly re­fus­ing to sit, the Speaker had lit­tle op­tion but to ex­pel him from the House.

Mr Black­ford was fol­lowed by 34 of his SNP col­leagues.

As a headline-grab­ber, the move could not be faulted.

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