IT MAY sound like a contradiction in terms, but SNP MPs are quietly bringing clapping back to the floor of the House of Commons.

The party's Westminster group was outraged when Labour's shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn received a round of applause for his speech on Syria.

SNP MPs were rebuked by the Speaker John Bercow earlier this year for clapping their colleagues' contributions in the chamber.

The newly-enlarged group had fallen foul of the strict rules which govern behaviour in the Commons and at one stage were told to "show some respect".

But within days of Mr Benn's speech, a number of SNP MPs clapped a point made during a backbench debate on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (Ttip) trade deal.

One SNP MP predicted that the move would not be a one-off.

“The Deputy Speaker (who was in the chair at the time) didn’t say anything, or rather, after the Benn reaction, couldn't say anything."

It is understood a number of SNP MPs have tackled the Speaker over his decision to allow clapping at the end of Mr Benn's speech exhorting the Commons to back airstrikes in Syria.

As MPs clapped, a number of the SNP group pointed to Mr Bercow's chair in protest.

The Speaker is understood to have been sympathetic for what he felt was a “spontaneous” outpouring of feeling by MPs.

But one SNP MP said: “It is ridiculous that in a grown up democracy we cannot behave in a professional way.

"When you attend political meetings ordinary people do not stand around saying ‘hear, hear’.

"If someone makes a good point you give them a round of applause."

SNP MPs are not the only Westminster politicians to back a change in Commons procedure.

During campaigning in the Labour leadership election Yvette Cooper pledged that the clapping ban would be axed as part of a shake-up of Parliament if she became Prime Minister.

Mr Bercow has praised the new SNP intake saying that many of them were "already proving to be good parliamentarians". But many new SNP MPs have been critical of what they have seen as Westminster.

Dr Philippa Whiteford, the party’s health spokesman and the MP for Central Ayrshire, has likened the Commons to sitting in a "kindergarten where people are making animal noises”.

Her party colleague Tommy Sheppard, has also hit out at the traditions of parliament including the “Georgian pantomime dress” worn by Commons door staff in the Commons, including a “curly ruffled thing that they wear down their back which is called a wig bag”.

A spokesman for the SNP said: "The SNP MPs find the ban on clapping to be outdated and out-of-touch with the public.

"We would be fully supportive of any measures which seek to reform behaviour inside the House of Commons chamber, which at times would not be tolerated in primary schools never mind a parliament."

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has expressed his outrage at the round of applause for Mr Benn's speech.

In an interview with the Huffington Post he said: “What I was appalled by was the end of that debate, with mainly Conservative MPs waving their order papers around, clapping and cheering.

"Sorry, we were voting to send bombers in to bomb targets, putting servicemen and women at risk, civilians at risk, you can’t cheer when you’re going to war. That is 1914 Jingoism, that is past.”

Despite the ban MPs have in the past occasionally clapped in the Commons.

Famously, in 2007 Tony Blair received a round of applause after his last ever appearance at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs).