Scottish nationalists are accused of ‘pathetic’ antics after forcing FIVE Commons votes so English MPs missed World Cup win over Colombia
- The House of Commons sat through much of the England football clash last night
- SNP ignored convention by forcing votes rather than nodding through estimates
- As a result angry MPs spend the first half trudging through the division lobbies
Scottish nationalists have been accused of ‘pathetic’ behaviour are forcing five Commons votes to English MPs missed the World Cup match against Colombia.
The SNP provoked a bitter row in Parliament last night by ignoring the parliamentary convention that spending estimates are ‘nodded through’.
As a result MPs spent the first half of the crucial England game trudging through the division lobbies – with furious football fans branding their antics spiteful.
Culture minister Margot James confronted SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford in the Commons while Chief Treasury Secretary Liz Truss berated the nationalists for ‘sabotage’.
The SNP forced five votes on spending estimates which the government won by a huge margin – but the process took over an hour
English MPs missed the first goal scored by Harry Kane – although they escaped in time for the penalty shootout
After Harry Kane scored the first goal, SNP MP Peter Grant took to Twitter to boast about the ‘impeccable timing’
Tory backbencher Douglas Ross said the SNP were guilt of ‘pathetic theatrics’, and Sir Bernard Jenkin jibed that the votes would not be happening if Scotland had qualified for the tournament.
The government won the five votes by a huge margins, but the process took over an hour.
Four Plaid Cymru MPs, 28 SNP MPs and Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse were among the 33 voting against, with Labour not taking part.
After one of the landslide results were announced, an MP was heard to shout: ‘It’s not just football they can’t win then.’
After Harry Kane scored the first goal, SNP MP Peter Grant took to Twitter to boast about the ‘impeccable timing’.
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‘Thanks to impeccable timing of votes and points of order by the SNP, the adjournment bells all over parliament rang at the very moment England scored.
‘Tory whips, you have no idea how much influence we really have’, he added.
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that football-mad MPs made sure they did not miss too much of the action.
‘We were going through the voting lobbies watching the match on phones, so I was voting to fund the NHS next year and watching the football at the same time,’ Mr Hancock told Politico today.
When proceedings finally ended, MPs decamped to the Smoking Room at Parliament to watch the rest of the action.
Mr Blackford insisted the Government was responsible for the timetable and the votes represented the SNP’s only opportunity to ‘speak out against the continued austerity’.
MPs spent the first half of the crucial England game trudging through the division lobbies – with furious football fans branding the SNP’s antics spiteful
Chief Treasury Secretary Liz Truss berated the nationalists for ‘sabotaging’ viewing of the crunch football match
When proceedings finally ended, MPs decamped to the Smoking Room at Parliament to watch the rest of the action
He also highlighted his party were acting on their vow to use parliamentary procedure to oppose the Government ‘every inch of the way’ following a row last month over the lack of time to discuss Brexit matters linked to the Scottish Parliament, branded a ‘power grab’ by the SNP.
During one of the votes, Tory frontbencher Ms James approached Mr Blackford and SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart as they chatted on their frontbench with Tory business minister Richard Harrington.
She was heard to say: ‘What about the people who work here?’
Sir Bernard raised a point of order to express his frustration as MPs marched through the division lobbies for a second vote triggered by the SNP.
He asked: ‘Do you suppose that the Scottish National Party would be calling so many divisions this evening if it were Scotland playing an important football match this evening?’
Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing replied: ‘I appreciate (Sir Bernard’s) point of order which although it relates to the division is not of course a point of order.
‘And I just have a fervent hope that one day Scotland will be playing an important football match.’
One MP could be heard saying: ‘I wouldn’t hold your breath.’
Several of the 35 SNP MPs were not present for much of the 90-minute debate linked to devolution, with numbers growing as it neared its conclusion.
The SNP’s Patrick Grady joked: ‘I understand there are hordes of people around London this evening looking for 90 minutes of entertainment on a green playing field.
‘Where better to look than the House of Commons? I think we’ve been thoroughly entertained and I’m sure there’s nothing else on this evening’s line-up that could be as interesting for people.’
The bell to end proceedings for the day sounded shortly after Harry Kane put England 1-0 up from the penalty spot.
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