SNP MP ridicules 'Tory vote-ophobes' for not contesting opposition proposals

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Claims that Theresa May's government smells may need to be pushed to tempt "childish" Conservative MPs to start voting against opposition proposals, according to the SNP.

Pete Wishart ridiculed "Tory vote-ophobes" for not contesting motions put forward by opposition parties after the SNP secured two symbolic victories in the Commons over Brexit and the state pension.

He suggested a motion declaring "This government smells" might be needed to ensure the Government sends its MPs through the division lobbies.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom referred to Mr Wishart's comments as "feisty" before joking: "I was going to invite him for a bit of haggis, neeps and tatties in the members' tea room after this business question, but I might think again since he now feels that this government smells.

"I'm not sure that's even orderly language, but nevertheless I'm willing to overlook it."

Five Tory MPs rebelled and joined the DUP and other parties in supporting the SNP's call for improvements to transitional arrangements for women affected by state pension age changes.

The motion was passed by 288 votes to zero, although it is non-binding on the Government.

A second non-binding proposal demanding the Government to unilaterally protect the rights of EU nationals living in the UK was approved without a vote.

The Government intends to respond to both motions within 12 weeks, under changes brought in by Mrs Leadsom.

It has stopped contesting Opposition Day motions since June's general election due to its lack of a Commons majority.

SNP Commons leader Mr Wishart had joked: "Thanks to the Tory vote refuseniks we now have the unanimous agreement of this House to tackle Waspi injustice.

"We were actually wondering what type of motion might actually tempt the Tory vote-ophobes into the division lobby.

"We were thinking about, given the childish nature of their failure to participate in the democratic structures of the House, maybe just a motion 'This government smells' might actually tempt them into the division lobbies in order to try and preserve their dignity."