SNP accused of ‘moaning in the Commons’ as deputies step in for PMQs

by Peter Urpeth

Photo Above: Palace of Westminster © Mike Gimelfarb on Wikipedia

Damian Green, deputising for Theresa May at PMQs, has accused the SNP of ‘‘moaning in the House of Commons.”

In reply to a question by the SNP’s Mhairi Black MP on the pension rights of women over 60 – and what the Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP referred to as “the falsehood that the Scottish Government can somehow fix the problem”, the First Secretary of State said:

“I hope she agrees with me that as the population ages we need to move up the pension age. But as usual, the SNP should stop simply moaning in the Commons.

“The Scottish government does have the capacity to top-up these payments, and the SNP should go back to their own government in Holyrood, and if they want to do something about this they should do it, and get on with the day job of running Scotland.”

Earlier Damian Green took questions from Labour’s Emily Thornberry,  deputising for the absent Jeremy Corbyn, who focused on a string of questions on the numbers of nurses and doctors currently working in the NHS.

In a series of lacklustre and fumbled replies on both sides, Thornberry and Green traded numbers on current levels of NHS staffing as opposed to 17 years ago, when John Prescott asked similar questions in the House.

At one stage in the exchange, Thornberry confused the “NHS winter crisis” with “winter fuel payments”, raising the biggest jeer from Tory benches in an otherwise subdued PMQs.

The weekly session had started with congratulations to the newly engaged royals, and to the RAF celebrating its 100th anniversary today.

The SNP’s Tommy Sheppard MP – the party’s spokesperson on the House of Lords, asked Damian Green when the government was going to reform the Lords, a chamber he described as being in “a 15 year crisis of credibility, and begging for reform.”

Green replied stating that the government was looking at reforms but doubted that Tommy Sheppard’s views represented those of the members of the Lords.

The SNP’s Patrick Grady, the MP for Glasgow North, also asked a question, highlighting the issue of the recent removal by the EU of UK cities from consideration as future European City’s of Culture , and asked if “the sun was setting on Empire 2.0?”

Damian Green replied acknowledging the role of culture in economic development and promised to continue to put pressure on the EU to permit the UK cities that had already submitted bids to be allowed to stay in the process.