Wednesday, 17 June 2015

SNP "red light" votes for Commons select chairs

NEW SNP MPs are being given a “red light” warning by the party leadership not to back candidates for powerful Westminster committees who have been hostile to independence.

As secret voting took place on Wednesday afternoon among 650 MPs for the chairs of Commons committees it was revealed the SNP has given its new members a “a traffic light system” to approve candidates.

With 56 MPs the SNP has a major influence on the outcome of the cross-party elections.

Although the party has a tight discipline code it has not imposed a block vote on who MPs must choose.

Instead new SNP MPs have been given a traffic light guide to the candidates from their more senior MPs.

Candidates smypathetic to the SNP get a green light and those who have crossed swords with nationalism in the past get a red card.

One new SNP MP said: “The party whips have not told us who to vote for but they have helpfully provided a traffic lights system of green being sympathetic and helpful to us, amber so so and red absolutely not.”

MPs elected by the Commons take on thethe £15,000 a year job of holding the government to account on committees such as culture, foreign affairs and defence

The SNP have two committee chairs for the first time. Perthshire MP Pete Wishart was unopposed for Scottish Affairs and Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil unopposed for energy and climate change.

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