Jacob Rees-Mogg compares SNP to Oliver Twist in latest swipe against Scottish independence movement

Jacob Rees-Mogg in the House of Commons

Jacob Rees-Mogg accused the SNP of 'modelling themselves on Oliver Twist' - Credit: Parliamentlive.tv

Jacob Rees-Mogg has compared the SNP to Oliver Twist in his latest swipe against the party's calls for Scottish independence.

Rees-Mogg said Nicola Sturgeon's party was "modelling themselves on Oliver Twist".

Speaking in the Commons, the House leader took umbrage at comments by the SNP's Tommy Sheppard that devolved administration would never back the government's internal market bill, which is seen as taking away powers from Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Sheppard said: "It is now clear that the devolved administrations will not give consent to this ridiculous piece of legislation.

"I want to know if we find the time to debate the consequences for the devolution settlement of that being the case, and of the UK choosing to ignore the devolved administrations and stream roll the legislation through anyway?"

Rees-Mogg hit back, describing the bill as "one of the best pieces of legislation passed through this House".

He said: "It is a fantastic bill, it is one of the best pieces of legislation passed through this House in recent times.

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"It also devolves I believe almost 70 powers to the devolved administration so they are modelling themselves on Oliver Twist, Mr Deputy Speaker.

"They are always asking for more, and I'm afraid they can't have more on this occasion."

Rees-Mogg said the bill would in fact give "a great deal of devolution" to Holyrood and the Senedd while keeping the internal market "functioning".

Westminster's SNP leader Ian Blackford said the bill, voted through on Tuesday night, was a "defining moment in devolution".

He accused Boris Johnson of "shattering" any remaining trust in a "broken Westminster system" by driving through controversial bill.

He also said Scottish MPs had voted overwhelmingly against the "Tory power grab bill" but it had been "forced through in the biggest attack on our Scottish parliament in the history of devolution".

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