UnNews:SNP MPs quickly become a headache
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SNP MPs quickly become a headache
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 07:39:UTC)(
29 May 2015
SNP leader Angus Robertson was rebutting a fierce attack by Labour's Ian Austin when the highlanders burst into applause. This was too much for Speaker John Bercow. "The convention that we do not clap in this Chamber is very, very long established and I would invite them to show some respect for the traditions of this Chamber of the House of Commons."
Parliamentary etiquette states, "Members must not disturb a Member who is speaking by clapping, booing, exclamations or other interruption." Obviously, Mr Bercow is not consistent on the point, hypocritically allowing sustained ovations on trivial events such as the farewell speech of Tony Blair.
Blair's own government had pressed to abandon the rule against clapping, but a Modernisation Committee ruled that a change could lead to abuse.
Thwarted in their first attempt at self-expression, the SNP delegation fell back on the thing Scots do second-best: All 56 turned around and mooned the Labour Member. Speaker Bercow frantically thumbed through the procedure manual, but wound up throwing up his hands in resignation.
The outburst by the MPs is seen as a giant step forward in inducing support for the concept of Scottish independence.