THE SNP have called for an investigation after Labour MP Chris Bryant admitted that his party had indeed deliberately sought to wreck the SNP motion on a ceasefire in Gaza – a motion which had the potential to prove severely embarrassing to Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Upon the conclusion of Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons last Wednesday, the House ought to have moved swiftly on to the SNP's opposition day motion. However, Bryant took to his feet and began to speak – and it was immediately obvious that he was stalling for time.

The reason for Bryant’s move is now clear. As he was on his feet waffling on about irrelevancies, Starmer had barged into the Speaker's office and was heavily pressuring him to break with Parliamentary convention and effectively put an end to the SNP's opposition day debate. All this was in order to get Starmer out of a hole he had dug for himself with his refusal to call out Israel's war crimes in Gaza.

The National: Lindsay Hoyle is continuing to face pressure over his job

According to the Sunday Times, the Speaker "kicked out" clerks from the room in order to speak to Starmer privately ahead of the vote. MPs huddled behind the Speaker's chair were allegedly heard talking loudly about how "Keir is going to fix the Speaker" – while Labour whip Chris Elmore was heard telling MPs to "use every procedural measure possible to delay".

Bryant told Channel 4: "I think the whole day was grubby, and we need a system that doesn't allow people to manipulate the rules to be able to get what they want.”

He then laughed when asked if he had manipulated the rules so that the Labour leader could get what he wanted.

Bryant wrote a book called “Code of Conduct: Why We Need to Fix Parliament – and How to Do It”. Yet there he was on Channel 4 laughing and admitting to twisting Parliament's rules to suit the interests of Starmer and the right of the Labour party – and accepting that Labour's behaviour was "grubby”.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour MP panned for 'nonsense' tweet on SNP's Gaza motion

So fixing Parliament's code of conduct then, just not until after the Labour party has got what it wants. The hypocrisy is off the charts.

With Bryant's admission, perhaps certain media commentators – and Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar – will now cease attempting to blame the SNP for Wednesday's debacle. But don't go holding your breath.

Following the broadcast of the interview with Bryant, furious SNP MP Kirsty Blackman demanded an investigation, saying: "These damning revelations show Sir Keir Starmer pulled every dirty trick in the Westminster book to wreck the SNP's vote on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel.

“After months of opposing an immediate ceasefire, and even defending Israel’s right to withhold water and power from Gaza, it's shameful that Starmer sought to derail this important debate – with his party filibustering, bullying the Speaker, and seeking to water down the motion by removing any mention of the collective punishment of the people in Gaza.

"Starmer's party has been caught red-handed following the admission by Chris Bryant. There must now be a full, independent investigation into the appalling behaviour of Keir Starmer and his colleagues, who are no better than the Tories when it comes to manipulating the broken Westminster system.”

But we can be sure any investigation will rumble on for months before concluding, as Westminster investigations always do, that no rules were broken and everything is fine and dandy and totally above board. You'd be as well submitting a complaint to the BBC about its anti-Scottish independence bias.

Tories and Islamophobia

The former Conservative party deputy chair, the controversial right-wing idiot Lee Anderson, has had the Tory whip suspended after telling far-right “news” channel GB News that London mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Keir Starmer are being controlled by Islamists.

In a diatribe widely condemned as racist, Anderson said: "I don't actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they've got control of Khan and they've got control of London, and they've got control of Starmer as well."

Neither Sunak nor any other senior Tory has condemned Anderson's diatribe as racist or Islamophobic. They have repeatedly dodged the question when asked whether they thought his remarks were Islamophobic. They have called his remarks “wrong” and said that the whip was withdrawn because Anderson refused to apologise. But they haven't said exactly what it is that they want him to apologise for.

The National: Lee Anderson leaving Downing Street, London, following a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister

For his part, Anderson (above) has admitted that his words were “clumsy”, but has doubled down on his attacks on Khan accusing the London mayor of double standards. He said: "Hundreds of people had been arrested for racist abuse on these marches and we barely hear a peep from the mayor.

“If these marches were about something less fashionable Sadiq Khan would have been the first to call for them to be cancelled. It's double standards for political benefit."

He added: "My words may have been clumsy but my words were borne out of sheer frustration at what is happening to our beautiful capital city."

The incident has put the spotlight back on the Islamophobia which runs rampant in the Conservative party and the British nationalist right-wing resentment upon which the Tories feed, bringing its racist sickness into the mainstream of British politics.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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