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SNP MP John Nicolson has been referred to the House of Commons Committee of Privileges after publishing a letter from the Speaker on social media.

MPs voted to refer the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire to the committee after debating the matter.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle last week called for Mr Nicolson to apologise to him for his actions, but he did not do so at the time.

It related to a letter about referring former culture secretary Nadine Dorries to the same committee for misleading MPs.

Tory MP David Davis was granted a debate today on the matter, in which he called for the probe to be launched.

By revealing what he was communicating with the Speaker, Mr Nicolson breached the rules of the House, Mr Davis said.

This was agreed by the Tory Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt and her Labour counterpart Thangam Debbonaire.

Mr Nicolson apologised today, and he and other SNPs argued he was not aware of the rules.

But after a division vote, it was found that he should be investigated over whether he had committed the contempt.

MPs voted by to launch a probe.

Addressing the Commons, Mr Nicolson said: “On the one hand, I am deeply sorry that the Speaker is upset.

“I don’t conduct politics in a way – for those who know me – that ever aims to be offensive and I am truly sorry that the Speaker is upset, and I am truly sorry that I have upset the Speaker.

“But it would be disingenuous of me to say that I knowingly revealed this.

“I could not have been more open by going on camera and discussing this. I clearly wasn’t trying to hide it.”

Mr Nicolson, who is a former journalist, added: “People in my former profession, and this profession, who want to pass things into the public domain in a sleekit or surreptitious way, they pass it to journalists, I didn’t do that.

“I stood up and I talked about the letter without revealing in detail its contents, but summarising it.”

The MP said he hoped “the House concludes that there was no malicious intent in anything that I did and I apologise to the Speaker for breaching a House rule”.

He added: “Given the all-party nature of the committee report, I sought no party political advantage, and I hope that Members here today will seek no party political advantage.

“My only motivation was to do what I always try to do and that is to engage with debate and to communicate my work here with constituents and with journalists as openly and fairly as I can.”