Alex Salmond claims credit for SNP Commons walkout

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Alex Salmond has claimed he came up with the idea for the SNP's dramatic Commons walkout this week.

The former First Minister said he spoke with the SNP's Westminster chief Ian Blackford on Tuesday night, the day before nationalist MPs quit the Commons chamber after their leader was suspended by Speaker John Bercow.

Mr Salmond, who was himself suspended from the Commons in 1988, told the Sunday Herald: "One of the iron laws of parliamentary politics is that if you always play the Westminster game then you will always lose.

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"And the way to turn that round successfully is to target interventions at those occasions which mean so much to the Westminster establishment - PMQs, budgets, state openings etc, and then use their own procedures against them.

"Certainly that was my advice to Ian Blackford when he phoned me last Tuesday night and I was delighted to see him carry it through."

The former MP also criticised some of his former SNP colleagues who he said were "too intent on winning the gold star" at Westminster.

"The challenge for the SNP is to keep up the momentum. Westminster is treating Scotland with contempt," he said. "Now they are receiving a taste of their own medicine.

"If they want business as usual then they should get their mitts off the powers of the Scottish Parliament. "In my opinion the SNP fell into the Westminster trap after 2015 and then paid the price at the polls.

"Too many of the current crop of MPs then seemed intent on winning the gold star for good attendance rather than independence.

"Now all that has changed and well done to them. The people who send the SNP south expect their MPs to shake it up, not settle down."

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