The SNP MP told Jacob Rees-Mogg he believed the House will soon lose confidence in him unless he agreed to MPs debating the nature of MPs’ virtual participation in Parliament. Mr Sheppard also claimed Brexit is a “tragedy” for the UK as he reiterated his party’s bid to split the country with a second independence referendum in Scotland. But the House of Commons leader blasted in response: “It’s never difficult to tell the difference between a member of the SNP with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.
“It seems to me that the cloud across any ray of sunshine can always be provided by the Honourable Gentleman.
“And what does he say today? He says that a debate of over two hours is undemocratic.
“It was undemocratic to have a debate. That I think is an unusual view to hold.
“And then he thinks that a democratic vote of 52 percent of the people of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is a disaster.
“He seems only to like the votes that he wins!
“But the SNP, fortunately, don’t win votes across the United Kingdom at large, most importantly the vote in 2014.”
He added: “He should be asking for a debate in the £2billion extra announced in the spending review yesterday that is going to Scotland. He should be celebrating the fact that £1,633 extra is attributed to public spending per capita in Scotland against the United Kingdom’s average.
“And he should celebrate the fact that £8.2billion in taxpayers money has gone to Scotland to help them fight the coronavirus.
“The evidence is that the United Kingdom is extraordinary strong as a single United Kingdom with taxpayers coming together to help one another.
Labour’s shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz also accused the Government of “stubbornness” by not accepting calls to expand virtual participation in Commons debates beyond those who have a medically certified reason to shield to include those who have other reasons related to Covid-19 for wanting to participate remotely.
She added: “Let’s remember, it is the Government that has prevented the participation of our colleagues, pitching one colleague against each other in a very restrictive and discriminatory definition.
“It’s this stubbornness that is preventing our colleagues from taking part.”
Responding, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “It is a pity because we had hoped that we could ensure participation for the extremely clinically vulnerable but there was an amendment down which would have broadened it and the House was not allowed the opportunity to express its will by the actions of honourable and right honourable members opposite.”