IAN Blackford yesterday became the fourth MP in the SNP’s history to have been suspended from the House of Commons.

The MP for Ross Skye and Lochaber was also following a long tradition of SNP politicians using archaic parliamentary protocol to make a point.

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“The function of SNP members of Parliament is different from those who are Unionist MPs,” said Jim Sillars, who, when he was the MP for Glasgow Govan, was expelled for a week. “It’s very important to give two up to the Westminster establishment.”

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Annabelle Ewing (pictured) was the last SNP MP to be kicked out. Then the MP for Perth, she was asked to leave the chamber after calling Labour’s Defence Minister, Geoff Hoon, a “back-stabbing coward”.

It was on the day Hoon announced that Scotland’s six historic infantry regiments were to be replaced by a “single super regiment”.

Ewing’s Perth constituency was the home of the headquarters of The Black Watch. Soldiers from the regiment had not long returned from a brutal tour in Iraq.

“Surely this is a massive betrayal of our brave soldiers, whose bravery can be contrasted with the Defence Secretary, who is nothing but a back-stabbing coward,” Ewing said.

Alan Haselhurst, the deputy speaker, ordered Ewing to withdraw the remark immediately and apologise.

“I have the utmost respect for you, Mr Deputy Speaker, but I have no respect whatsoever for the Defence Secretary,” she said.

In 1989, Alex Salmond was suspended for five days for interrupting Nigel Lawson’s budget to attack the poll tax and planned income tax cuts for the rich.

“This is an obscenity. The Chancellor cannot do this,” Salmond shouted causing uproar on all sides of the house.

There was fury for about 20 minutes as MPs voted to suspend the young MP for Banff and Buchan.

The Tories were furious because Salmond had the temerity to interrupt Lawson.

According to David Torrance’s biography of the former first minister, Labour were furious because Salmond spoiled their own similar stunt.

Yesterday, Salmond told The National he was “totally supportive of Blackford’s efforts.

“You must never let Westminster walk over Scotland with impunity – they will just keep on doing it. Most of Scottish opinion will say ‘about time’ that someone stands up for the country.”

Sillars (pictured) was also suspended in 1989. He found a loophole in Erskine May, the rule book governing the Commons, that meant he could have delay the Budget by making a three and a half hour long speech about Glasgow , but he made a “very silly mistake”.

“Being a gentleman towards the staff, I went to the chief clerk of the House and told him what I was going to do,” said Sillars. “He went as white a sheet, and thanked me politely.”

The clerks found another loophole which closed off Sillars’s protest, though he made repeated points of order instead, which was enough for the frustrated Speaker to throw him out.

Sillars told The National: “For three and half of hours, you know what it would have been like, the BBC, the Financial Times, the markets, all wanting to hear what the Chancellor was saying and they’d all have to wait three and a half hours because this SNP MP had snookered them. And I would have snookered them if it hadn’t been that I was so gentlemanly.”

He too supported Blackford’s protest: “I don’t think he had any alternative.”