SNP Westminster leader jokes about 'quiet Easter break' during PMQs

The SNP is facing an investigation by Police Scotland while Rishi Sunak is facing a Westminster watchdog probe.

The SNP’s Westminster leader has joked that he is “delighted” the Conservative Party had an “equally peaceful and relaxing break” as his party did.

Stephen Flynn made the comments at PMQs on Wednesday in reference to the investigations being conducted into the both SNP and the Tories.

Rishi Sunak faced MPs for the first time in weeks after the House of Commons – and Holyrood – returned from the Easter break.

“I’m delighted to hear they had an equally peaceful and relaxing Easter break as I did,” Flynn said as he took to the floor in the Commons.

During the recess, the Police Scotland investigation into SNP finances made its first arrest which was later followed by a string of leaks into the party’s finances.

Police raided the SNP's Edinburgh offices earlier this month as part of their investigation into the party's finances.STV News

And on Tuesday, detectives made their second arrest when they took in party treasurer Colin Beattie for questioning. He was later released without charge pending further investigation.

It was also revealed that auditors had quit the SNP’s Westminster group, along with the party as a whole, and that they are struggling to hire new ones ahead of the deadline for submitting party accounts.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is facing an investigation by a Westminster watchdog.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards opened the case over Sunak’s possible failure to declare an interest.

It is over claims he did not declare his wife’s shares in a childcare agency that benefited from the Budget.

A separate investigation into bullying against his justice minister Dominic Raab is also set to reach its conclusion in the coming weeks.

During the questions session on Wednesday, Flynn criticised the Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross for urging some voters to opt for Labour at the next election.

He said: “Was it their refusal to stand alongside striking workers on the picket line, their acceptance of the economic damage being caused by Brexit, or perhaps their support for denying the people of Scotland the right to choose their own future which led to the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party urging voters to back Labour?”

Sunak replied: “What we’re doing is not getting distracted by the things that are going on elsewhere. And we’re focused on delivering for the people of Scotland.”

He added: “Now I know at the moment him and his party are focused on other matters. We’re just going to motor on with the job.”

The SNP Westminster leader told the Commons he would take “no lectures from a party which has not had a mandate to govern in Scotland since 1955”.

He added: “You went through three prime ministers in the course of just a matter of months.

“You crashed the economy, you sent mortgage rates soaring, you have taken energy support away from families most in need.

“Now the Prime Minister has been fined not once but twice.”

Sunak responded: “The Scottish Conservatives deserve enormous praise for forcing the SNP into abandoning their completely unworkable, fundamentally flawed deposit return scheme.”

Keir Starmer was referred to as 'Sir Softy' during PMQs.Parliament TV

Keir Starmer and the Prime Minister also clashed at PMQs over the UK Government’s record on crime in England, which saw Sunak repeatedly refer to the Labour leader as “Sir Softy”.

Sir Keir accused the Prime Minister of “letting violent criminals go free”.

He said: “Can’t the Prime Minister see because they have lost control of the court service because they have created the largest court backlog on record, he is letting violent criminals go free?”

Sunak insisted the Government is “cracking down on grooming gangs” and has “toughened the law on sex offenders so they spend longer in prison”, adding: “He voted against it.

“And we’ve increased rape convictions by over 60%. Meanwhile, [Sir Keir] attended 21 Sentencing Council meetings that watered down punishments. That’s why they call him Sir Softy. Soft on crime. Soft on criminals,” he said.

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