ONE year ago today, SNP MPs caused pandemonium in Parliament when they walked out of the Commons after a Tory member spoke for the full 15 minutes they had been allocated to speak about devolution.

The SNP members were protesting at the lack of time given to debate Westminster’s “power grab” in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

They had been given just 15 minutes to talk about devolution, but David Lidington spoke for the entire time.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, accused Prime Minster Theresa May of breaking a promise to treat Scotland “as part of a union of equals”, adding that she had “pressed ahead with a power grab in direct opposition to Scotland’s elected Parliament”.

“It is a democratic outrage,” said Blackford. “The people of Scotland will not be disrespected by this Parliament.”

He then invoked an archaic procedure asking that the Commons “now sits in private”.

Speaker John Bercow, after taking advice from parliamentary clerks, suggested the vote on sitting in private be taken at the end of Prime Minister’s Questions, but Blackford disagreed and refused to sit down when Bercow ordered him to.

The Speaker then threw him out, quoting parliamentary rules: “Under the power given to me by standing order number 43 in light of the persistent and repeated refusal of the Right Honourable gentleman to resume his seat when so instructed, I order the Right Honourable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of this day’s sitting.”

Blackford turned to walk out and was immediately followed by the whole SNP contingent – a spectacle that for many demonstrated the “fire in the bellies of the SNP members”.

Blackford told The National, at the party’s first independence roadshow in Fort William, the fire was still there.

“It was right for us to stand up the way we did last year when we saw an attack on devolution, when we saw the Westminster government taking back control over the powers of the Scottish Parliament – powers that the people of Scotland voted for in a referendum in 1997.

“I make it clear that of course we will act in a manner which is respectful, but we will not miss in doing our job and to make sure that working with colleagues in the Scottish Parliament, we deliver on the desire of the Scottish people, deliver on that mandate for independence.

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“And we will continue to show fire in our bellies, make sure that we hold Westminster to account and we will be saying to the Conservative MPs who were sent down to Westminster in that election in 2017, it is their responsibility to stand up for their constituents, not to be poodles going through the Westminster lobby, acting against Scotland’s interests – because that’s what they’ve been doing.”