UK Politics

World Cup 2018: SNP accused of 'pathetic theatrics' over England match

England players celebrate their win Image copyright PA

The Scottish National Party has been accused of "pathetic theatrics" by a Tory MP for forcing five votes during England's World Cup tie with Colombia.

Douglas Ross, a football ref as well as MP for Moray, also suggested SNP MPs had been deliberately slow in voting.

One minister urged SNP MP Ian Blackford to "think of the people who work here".

But he said ministers were responsible for the timetable and the votes represented the SNP's chance to "speak out against the continued austerity".

Votes on motions linked to public spending could take place only from 19:00 BST, which was the kick-off time for England's last 16 match at the World Cup.

Five votes occurred, including one regarding devolution, and took approximately 66 minutes. The Commons finally adjourned for the evening at 20:18 BST. Harry Kane scored the goal that put England ahead at 20:19 BST.

For those who missed the football, the match ended in a draw, with England eventually winning a penalty shootout.

For those who missed the action in the Commons, the government won all five votes, with the number of MPs voting in favour falling steadily from 312 to 175 as the England game progressed.

Four Plaid Cymru MPs, 28 SNP MPs and Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse were among the 33 voting against. Labour MPs did not vote.

Conservative Sir Bernard Jenkin raised a point of order, asking: "Do you suppose that the Scottish National Party would be calling so many divisions this evening if it were Scotland playing an important football match this evening?"

Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing replied: "I appreciate the point of order, which, although it relates to the division [vote], is not of course a point of order.

"I just have a fervent hope that one day Scotland will be playing an important football match."