Bercow praises SNP’s ‘group solidarity’

SNP ministers have been consistently supportive of each other

The SNP top two: Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon


The speaker of the House of Commons has praised SNP MPs for being ‘very good parliamentarians’, but noted that they have not yet changed parliament itself.

In May the SNP won what amounted to a landslide north of the border, taking 56 of the 59 Scottish seats at Westminster.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, John Bercow told those assembled that whilst he did not think the SNP ‘have changed parliament’, the significant thing has been that, ‘their parliamentary party has said something very significant by its behaviour since May about group solidarity’.

He continued:

“They turn up in large numbers, they turn up very regularly, they turn up to support each other and a lot of them are already proving to be very good parliamentarians.

“It’s not for me to support the SNP or oppose the SNP and I wouldn’t dream of doing so, but I’m simply saying respect where it’s due.”

Speaking during the event, Bercow noted that the party had achieved a ‘notable political victory’ when it was praised for having forced the Conservatives to put on hold plans to water down the ban on hunting in England and Wales.

The speaker indicated also that the Commons could potentially change its traditions against giving applause in the chamber if MPs were in support of this.

In May, Bercow rebuked SNP MPs who began clapping during the response to the Queen’s Speech by its leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson. Questioned at the Fringe on this, the speaker explained:

The speaker also acknowledged SNP ministers’ victory on fox hunting vote”I think my attitude to that is if the House wants to change its procedures, it can, if they vote to do so.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

7 Responses to “Bercow praises SNP’s ‘group solidarity’”

  1. I'm very cross about this.

    So on the basis that SNP turn up at the house of commons Bercow thinks they’re good parliamentarians!!! They’re paid to turn up, it’s their job. And as for the victory on foxhunting, the pipsqueak Bercow should know that all the bill was designed to do was align English law with Scottish and it was the politics of disruption that made the SNP stand against it. Independence for Scotland now and the English/Welsh/Irish must be given a vote. FREEDOM.

  2. stevep

    They had no real intention of aligning the foxhunting bill with Scotland.
    It was smoke-and-mirrors to fool the country into thinking that was the case.
    The real reason for the bill was to drive a coach and horses through the original 2004 foxhunting act to render it unworkable and appease the landed gentry and donors to the Conservative party.
    Why the SNP took a stance against the proposed amendment was a party political matter, they are part of the UK and are entitled to vote on UK matters.
    As the SNP said at the time, the situation regarding foxhunting in Scotland will now be reviewed.
    As for “FREEDOM”, I want freedom from the Tories in the UK. All that will happen if the regions and countries gain independence is Tory enslavement in perpetuity in England and as far as the far-right is concerned, to hell with the rest.
    Perhaps that`s the real agenda.

  3. Dave Stewart

    You’re right, they are paid to turn up but large numbers of MPs don’t bother anyway and when one considers that the Scottish MPs have the furthest to travel (and as such arguably the best excuse for not turning up) the fact they bother does paint other MPs in quite a bad light. It is a sorry state of affairs when MPs are being praised for something they should be doing anyway but that reflects badly on other MPs.

  4. I'm very cross about this.

    Then have another referendum and vote for freedom but don’t expect the rest of the UK to pay for it. I know you could revitalise the Darien Scheme and become a world player. How’s the oil price going/

  5. stevep

    A referendum for the Midlands, now there`s a novel idea!
    Freedom north of the Watford gap, wey heeeey!!! We could sell Aston Villa to pay for it!
    The last time I filled the tank up at Tesco`s, the fuel price was 112.9 per litre, thanks!


    What puzzles me is why Welsh, NI and SNP MPs get the same same inflated salaries as the English. The English have all responsibilities the others far less because of devolution. There should be at least a 30% cut in salaries. The taxpayer is being ripped off.

  7. Keith M

    They show a solidarity, sadly lacking in Labour.

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