SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn received rapturous applause from the BBC Question Time audience as he spoke out in support of Diane Abbott. 

Abbott – who was the UK’s first black female MP - stood up more than 40 times in the Commons on Wednesday but was not picked to question Rishi Sunak while others in the chamber discussed racist remarks made by a prominent Tory donor towards her.

Businessman Frank Hester – who has donated at least £10 million to the Conservative Party – is alleged to have said Abbott made him “want to hate all black women” and “should be shot”.

In an appearance Flynn was widely praised for, he stuck up for Abbott as he said he was “furious” about the way the “Westminster establishment” stopped her from having a say.

He said: “I don’t know if anyone else sitting in this room right now was furious on Wednesday at the fact the Westminster establishment stopped Diane Abbott from being able to question the Prime Minister?”

READ MORE: BBC Question Time: Melanie Phillips ‘deranged Gaza rant’ slammed

The audience broke into loud applause in response to his comments, drowning out presenter Fiona Bruce as she said “You mean the Speaker of the House when you say the Westminster establishment?”

Flynn also received huge praise for slating Westminster not calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East for months as he urged the UK to end arms sales to Israel.

He said: “The events of October 7 have rightly been condemned by all political parties, they were utterly abhorrent and the hostages who are still under the control of Hamas must be released.

“But my colleagues and I have been consistent in the weeks following that we need to have an immediate ceasefire, and the reason for that is simple. The people of Palestine have been collectively punished for the actions of a terrorist group.

“They are being denied access to water, food, medicine, electricity, to the ability to leave. In the meantime, they are being indiscriminately shot and bombed.

“70,000 men, women and children injured. 30,000 men, women and children dead. I have been utterly ashamed to be a member of the Westminster Parliament as it has sat for months in silence instead of calling for that immediate ceasefire.

“We finally dragged the Labour Party to a position where it backs a ceasefire and hopefully we can get the Government to do likewise but in the meantime we need to end arms sales to Israel and we need to use the UK’s voice as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to advocate immediately for a ceasefire. No ifs, no buts.”

Fiona Harrison posted on Twitter/X that Flynn “speaks brilliantly” for Scotland.

She said: “I wish we had more MPs in all parties like Stephen Flynn. And he does speak brilliantly for Scotland.”

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Others said Flynn was fast emerging as one of the “most effective” operators in politics, while some said his performance on Question Time was “glorious” and showed he was on “the right side of history”.

Flynn subsequently called out a “deranged rant” on Gaza from right-wing columnist Melanie Phillips, branding it “outrageous”.

The choice from the BBC to platform the author of Londonistan was questioned by many when it was first announced, with some on social media saying that her subsequent appearance proved why.

After Flynn spoke passionately about Gaza, advocating for an immediate ceasefire and hitting out at Westminster “silence”, Phillips argued that what the SNP Westminster leader said was “distorted and so untrue”.

She then denied that Israel was limiting aid to Gaza and claimed “hundreds and hundreds” of trucks were going into Gaza but were being “stolen by Hamas”.