Pete Wishart MP on Evel: "Scotland is watching this and the mood is darkening"

Evel met with cross-party condemnation as the debate continues in the House of Commons

SNP MP Pete Wishart has told the House of Commons that proposals for English votes for English laws (Evel) are "threadbare", "inept" and "stupid".

Speaking in the debate about the proposed plans to allow for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs to be excluded in supposedly English-only matters, Wishart begun by criticising the House for taking over an hour to allow a Scottish MP to voice their opinion.

The MP for Perth and North Perthshire went on to raise his concern about the lack of cross-party support for the Bill: "In the course of the last couple of months, the leader of the house has managed to convince absolutely nobody about the quality of these plans.

"We're suppose to be a partner of equals. We have a legitimate view in these matters. This is our parliament... and yet we've got to accept a second-class status. No wonder the mood is darkening." Pete Wishart MP

Referring to the unelected House of Lords, he stated: "Even the donors and the cronies down the corridors don't support these plans."

Highlighting the potential impact that this Bill may have on Scottish independence, Wishart avowed: "An exercise in building consensus and working in partnership, this is most certainly not.

"Scotland is watching this and the mood is darkening.

"We're suppose to be a partner of equals... We have a legitimate view in these matters... This is our parliament... and yet we've got to accept a second-class status. No wonder the mood is darkening."

He added: "You could not have contrived of a worse way to save the union."

Chris Bryant, MP and shadow speaker of the House, echoed Wishart's concerns about the future of the union, stating that constitutional changes and further devolution has done and should continue to involve referendums, drafts and debates.

The shadow speaker described the way in which the bill had come about - namely referring to the lack of cross party support - as "disreputable".

The shadow speaker described the way in which the bill had come about - namely referring to the lack of cross party support - as "disreputable".

Father of the House Gerald Kaufman made an impassioned speech in opposition to both Labour's amendments to Evel, and the bill itself, stating that this debate was "one of the nastiest, most unpleasant debates that I have attended in 45 years".

He continued: "I'm not an English MP. I am a member of the parliament of the united kingdom of great Britain and northern Ireland," and described the bill as "gyrations".

He added: "SNP members are completely equal to everyone else."

However, Conservative benches reiterated that Evel was not about difference classes of MP, but about different functions.

Picture courtesy of Berit Walkin