POLITICS

SNP's Pete Wishart Warns 'Nothing Has Infuriated The Scottish People More' Than EVEL Rules

12/01/2016 19:26 GMT | Updated 12/01/2016 20:00 GMT

SNP MPs are not happy. Parliamentary rules were introduced last year to bar Scottish members from voting on English matters – the so-called EVEL, or “English Votes for English Laws.”

Those rules were enforced for the first time on Tuesday, sparking a backlash from members whose constituencies are north of the border.

SNP MP Pete Wishart laid out a forceful rebuke after Scottish MPs were barred from voting on English sections of the Housing Bill, noting,“nothing has infuriated the Scottish people more than the measures around English Votes for English Law.”

The Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire warned that the new rules were “driving Scotland out of the door.”

"This is a remarkable day and I think it is worth noting the significance, how historical this is because for the first time in the history of this House, of this parliament, members of parliament will be banned from participating in divisions of this House based on nationality and geographic location of constituency,” Wishart told the Chamber.

"I was elected on the same basis as you where," he added. "My constituents expect me to participate in all debates, in all legislation in this House. I am now denied that."

However, Tory MPs responded by praising the new rules as the righting of an historic injustice towards English members.

After Wishart proposed the creation of and English parliament to solve these matters, Tory MP Anne Main asked if he “expected the taxpayers… to pay for this other parliament you wish to suggest to create simply because your feelings are somehow assaulted?”

"I don't know how you can explain that extra layer of bureaucracy and cost to the British taxpayer, but maybe that's how they like to do it in Scotland and spend other people's money?" she added.

Labour MP Ian Murray MP condemned both the EVEL rules, introduced by the Tory government, and the SNP for "making things worse."

"This is just the latest example of the SNP hypocrisy," said the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland. "Everyone agrees that EVEL is a ramshackle mess, and now the SNP are making things worse by disrupting the chamber to preach and posture," he added.

After the main housing debate, a second debate was held on the areas that apply only to England. Signs hung in the lobby made clear the division.