AN MP has claimed there are a “number of things” happening at Westminster to limit ways the SNP and smaller parties can voice their opinions in the Commons.

The SNP’s chief whip Owen Thompson made the claims to The National after he received a letter from the three deputy speakers to say Keir Starmer will not be referred to the Privileges Committee for investigation over accusations he pressured Lindsay Hoyle into selecting his party’s amendment on Gaza last month.

SNP, Conservative and Plaid Cymru MPs had requested an investigation after chaos ensued in the Commons when Hoyle broke with convention to select the Labour amendment.

The original SNP motion calling for a ceasefire and accusing Israel of “collective punishment” was never voted on and instead Labour’s amendment – which did not reference collective punishment – was nodded through.

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The episode led to accusations Starmer had threatened the Speaker amid fears he may face a major revolt.

But all three deputy speakers unanimously confirmed in a leaked letter they would not be taking requests for an investigation any further.

Asked about whether it felt like a third kick in the teeth for the SNP – after they also had an emergency debate on Gaza refused – Thompson said: “There appears to be a number of things happening in here [Westminster] just now which seem to be limiting the options for us as a third party but also for smaller parties to be able to voice their opinions and show our discontent when we’re not happy with stuff.

“We are looking at them very closely.  We need to have the ability to be heard.”

Thompson would not expand on what exactly the party was concerned about but insisted he would not let bigger parties “ride roughshod over us”.

The letter addressed to Thompson, the Conservatives' Graham Brady, and Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville-Roberts said there was a "high bar" for raising complaints of breach of privilege.

They ruled: "The Speaker's role requires his conversations with Members to remain confidential. All parties should be able to rely on that confidentiality. Allowing matters of privilege to be raised on the content of confidential conversations would undermine that principle.

"There are no direct accounts of what was said from anyone who was actually in the room. 

"We have decided not to give this matter precedence. Our decision is unanimous."

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Thompson insisted it was not necessary to find out the specifics of what was said between Starmer and Hoyle, but maintained there needed to be a better understanding of what went on.

He said: “It should be recognised this letter was sent in confidence and I accepted that and that is why I kept it so.

“But now it’s in the public domain, I’ll say I’m disappointed because the reason I and others supported that call [for an investigation] is because we believe there are still questions that need to be answered.

“Processes in the Commons were overruled, and whatever was said to anyone over that process, we can’t get away from the fact Keir Starmer intervened in some shape or form with a request that standing orders and the conventions of the House were overruled, and that isn’t good enough.

“You don’t need to get into the specifics of who said what. There is no dispute over the fact Keir Starmer had a meeting and Labour were actively trying to get their amendment selected against the advice of Parliament clerks, as is clear from their letter that was published on the day of the vote.

“So what we need to know is why they thought it was appropriate the rules of the house should be ignored for their political benefit.”

The National: Liz Saville Roberts MP.

Saville-Roberts (above), Plaid Cymru's leader at Westminster, added: "There are fundamental questions about the state of democracy in Westminster, and this only adds to them.

"A democracy based on gentlemen’s agreements and ‘just-between-you-and-me’ conversations in dark corners can make no claim to transparency and public accountability.”

Almost 100 MPs signed a motion of no confidence in Hoyle following his actions on the SNP Opposition Day.

Starmer "categorically" denied having threatened the Speaker and claimed he "simply urged” Hoyle to have “the broadest possible debate” by putting a number of options in front of MPs during the debate.