WATCH: SNP MP Pete Wishart gets ribbed for being part of the 'British establishment' after landing Commons job

Written by John Johnston on 6 February 2020 in Diary

SNP MP Pete Wishart has had a rough first outing as a representative of the House of Commons commission.

SNP grandee Pete Wishart has become the first member of his party in history to answer questions from MPs rather than ask them as he made his debut appearance as a member of the House of Commons Commission.

The group, chaired by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, are responsible for setting budgets for the administration and maintenance of the Parliamentary estate, as well as answering queries from MPs.

Mr Wishart, who is the SNP's longest serving Westminster member, has served on the commission since May 2019, but this is the first time he has been asked to field questions from fellow MPs in the Commons chamber.

And his appearance in the chamber gave former Scottish Secretary David Mundell the opportunity to dish out some gentle teasing against his former Commons sparring partner.

Rising to ask about the disposal of waste around the estate, the senior Tory MP prompted laughs as he said it was an "real honour to be able to ask a question of such a senior member of the British establishment."



But Mr Wishart took the ribbing in his stride, saying he was thankful for the "very sincere congratulations and welcome".

It is not the first time the 19-year Westminster veteran has found himself considering a more senior role in the echelons of the Parliamentary establishment.

In May last year, he launched a bid to replace John Bercow as Speaker saying he wished to be the "first post-war Speaker from beyond the two main parties".

But he later abandoned the bid after suggestions from independence supporters that his candidacy showed a "desire" to remain in Westminster.

"My bid for the Speakership was done with the full understanding that it would be highly unlikely to be successful as a representative of the third party with only 35 MPs," he said.

"Part of my motivation for standing was to highlight the absurdity of some of the mechanics and procedures of the House of Commons, to contrast it with what is happening in Scotland, and use it to detail why Scotland should play no further part in Westminster’s proceedings."

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