US News SNP membership swells after MPs' mass walkout

14:57  14 june  2018
14:57  14 june  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Scottish National Party MPs have staged an en-masse walkout from the House of Commons after Westminster leader Ian Blackford was asked to leave the chamber for repeatedly challenging Speaker John Bercow.

Ian Blackford walked out of the Chamber after a heated argument with the speaker and the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. The SNP MPs then walked out of the chamber following Mr Blackford.

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SNP membership has risen by over 5,000 in the 24-hours following a mass-walkout by its MPs in parliament, Sky News has learnt.

People have "surged" to join Nicola Sturgeon's party, a source said, to unite against a "power grab" by the Conservatives on Brexit.

They added the normal comparable figure is 50-100, making the daily growth up to nearly 10,000% higher than usual.

SNP MPs stormed out of the Commons chamber when their Westminster leader Ian Blackford was kicked out by the speaker during PMQs.

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SNP MPs walk out of the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions after the party ’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford was kicked out of Commons sittings for the rest of the day after repeatedly challenging Speaker John Bercow.

Related Video: Moment SNP storms out of chamber


He was protesting at MPs being given around an hour to consider over 50 amendments to the Brexit bill on devolution.

An SNP insider credited the membership boom on "Tory attacks on devolution".

They told Sky News: "Scotland will not be silenced and voters are uniting against the brazen Tory power grab.

"Like the party's extraordinary membership surge of 2014, joining the SNP has become a powerful symbol and the best way of ensuring Scotland's voice is heard."

Downing Street on Wednesday dismissed as a "stunt" the disruption of Theresa May's weekly grilling in Westminster.

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SNP MPs have stormed out of Prime Minister’s Questions in protest against the UK Government’s “power grab”. Speaking after the walk out , Mr Blackford said: “I called for the House to sit in private – using parliament’s own procedures to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard on Brexit.

The SNP walked out of the Commons today claiming that Scotland had been sidelined in Brexit debates. The first mass walkout since Nick Clegg ordered out Liberal Democrat MPs more than a decade ago disrupted an already raucous prime minister’s questions.

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The prime minister's spokesman said: "That sort of stunt effectively means that the SNP members who were down on the order paper to ask the PM questions can't represent their constituents."

Scotland Secretary David Mundell also said: "The SNP was about to be granted a debate on how the devolution aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

"Disappointed, if not surprised, that if they really felt so strongly about it, they chose a stunt over holding the Government to account."

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