In a decent parliament we’d have a decent Speaker

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The SNP sponsored debate on its Gaza ceasefire motion has now begun in the House of Commons, but not before another row has developed.

As I noted earlier today, the SNP tabled this motion but Labour, the LibDems and the government all tabled amendments. What amendments might be debated is for the Speaker to decide but there are, of course, conventions that are usually followed.

Today the Speaker has decided that the Labour and government motions might be debated, and voted on in that order, before the substantive remaining motion is put to the House.

The consequence is that the SNP motion might be replaced by a Labour motion before the Government then gets the chance to replace the Labour motion with its own motion, which means that the Opposition party promoting this debate may never get the chance to have its own motion voted on. That is pretty much unprecedented. This Tweet explains that:

The Clerk of the House has objected to what Hoyle has done, which is heavily biased in Labour's interests.

So, why has he done that. My old university newspaper co-editor, Jon Craig, now at Sky News, has this to suggest:

Nick Watt of Newsnight confirms the view:

Labour blackmailed Hoyle and he caved in.

None of this says anything any good about Labour or the Speaker.

Meanwhile, the SNP's motion, which was the only one to really address the situation in Gaza, looks like it will never be voted on.

And we call this democracy.

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