The UK Government is behaving little better than a "dysfunctional tinpot dictatorship" after an "absolute stinker" of a week for parliamentary democracy, the SNP has claimed.

Pete Wishart, the party's Commons leader, said the Government would "probably end up oppressing themselves" after rows over a series of controversial changes to procedure.

The latest of these, choosing not to contest votes on opposition motions, made Parliament look "ridiculous", shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz said.

On Wednesday ministers allowed Labour motions on the public sector pay cap and revoking the rise in tuition fees to pass unopposed.

The motions are non-binding and do not require a change in government policy.

But Ms Vaz said students and nurses "have a legitimate expectation that that's what the intention of Parliament is, and we'd like to know how that's going to be enacted".

She added: "It's also clear and it's been said on social media that that's what the Government is going to do with every opposition day motion.

"So I would like you, Mr Speaker, to have a meeting with the business managers to work out exactly how we take this forward, because it makes Parliament look ridiculous."

She went on to say this had been a "bad week for parliamentary democracy."

Andrea Leadsom, the Commons Leader, said the Government took the issues of public sector pay and tuition fees "incredibly seriously" and had kept Parliament updated.

"There is no doubt that we have engaged at every level," she said.

"However, I would like to point out that the actual intention of the Opposition in these debates yesterday was purely political.

"They will be very much aware that the vote yesterday, their tuition fee proposal, has no statutory effect."

Mr Wishart said: "This has been an absolute stinker of a week for the democratic arrangements of this House.

"First the repeal bill, with the grotesque Henry VIII powers, then the manipulation of the standing committees in this House in the Government's favour, and now the degrading of opposition day debates to little more than adjournment debates.

"Next Mr Speaker, they will be coming for your chair.

"The Leader of the House said when she assumed this role that she wanted to reach out to the parties of this House, to seek consensus and to work across this chamber, but this Government is now behaving little better than a dysfunctional tinpot dictatorship that is behaving so ineptly they'll probably end up oppressing themselves."

During Business questions Ms Leadsom said there would be an equal number of MPs on public bill committees where there was an even number, after the Government voted to give itself a majority on them earlier this week.

She also joked that Commons Speaker John Bercow should "nail down your chair, just in case".

Mr Bercow said: "I can confirm to the House that my chair is not going anywhere."