SNP's Ian Blackford clashes with Speaker before walkout

Ian Blackford

Prime Minister's Questions was plunged into chaos after SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford was kicked out for repeatedly challenging Speaker John Bercow.

Mr Bercow said he was suspending the party leader for the rest of the day following his "repeated refusal" to take his seat when told to do so.

Rising to ask a question during the session, Blackford said: "The Prime Minister gave a commitment that she would treat Scotland as a union of equals".

"The people of Scotland will not be disrespected by this Parliament".

He stated: "I really do hope that the people of Scotland listened very carefully to what the prime minister said, because the reality of the situation is that powers enshrined under the Scotland Act 1998 are being grabbed back by this parliament today".

The SNP MP told the same programme: "He ought to resign and the fact we have seen powers taken from the Scottish Parliament and our elected representatives have not been able to debate this is an utter, utter disgrace".

Many MPs walked out of the House of Commons in protest.

Earlier Bercow completely lost control of the Commons as the SNP raged about the cutting short of a debate on devolution last night.

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Mr Blackford tried to use an arcane procedure demanding the "House sit in private" - a motion that requires a vote of MPs on whether to clear public galleries.

"It is a democratic outrage".

He then demanded a vote on the issue, something which Bercow refused to consent to until PMQs had concluded.

The passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill meant powers which were supposed to return to the Scottish Parliament after the United Kingdom leaves the EU would go to Westminster for a period of seven years, a move which SNP MPs broke with the Sewel convention that changes to devolution would not occur without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish MP had accused Theresa May's government of a "power grab".

The heated scenario occurred during lively talks about Brexit as Prime Minister Theresa May faced tough questioning from ministers over the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her support of Mr Blackford saying she was "right behind" him and the SNP MPs who walk out of the Commons, adding "Scotland and the Scottish Parliament are being treated with contempt by Westminster and it needs to be highlighted". But Scotland's devolved parliament, Holyrood, had rejected those measures last month with the backing of all parties save the Scottish Conservatives.

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