The SNP walkout today at PMQs was a stunt. But I was left with the feeling that John Bercow didn’t handle it wonderfully. It was clear from the moment that Ian Blackford requested that the House sit in private that the SNP wanted to be ordered out of the chamber.
Bercow’s insistence that the vote wouldn’t take place until after PMQs played into the SNP’s hands as it gave Blackford something to object to so vociferously that he had to be kicked out. The rest of the SNP then followed him, giving the Nationalists the TV pictures they craved.
Now, the question is how effective this SNP walkout was. It certainly highlighted their anger, synthetic or otherwise, at the limited time there has been to debate the devolution elements of the withdrawal bill. But the flip side is that it all looks a bit student politics. After all, you can’t hold the government to account or question the Prime Minister if you are not in the chamber.