THE SNP’s Hannah Bardell has made clear she will not apologise to the Speaker for playing football in the Commons chamber, saying that along with fellow members of the parliamentary women’s soccer team she was only having “a little fun”.

John Bercow reprimanded the Livingston MP and some of her team-mates, who were kitted out in football jerseys, saying the "historic" chamber should not be used for a kick-about, adding he had received "fulsome" letters of apology from three of the five MPs involved.

In a Commons statement, he told MPs: "It has been brought to my attention that some football skills were displayed in the chamber yesterday evening after the House rose.

"I am informed that the doorkeepers on duty told the members concerned that the chamber was not the place for this activity. However, those doorkeepers were advised that permission had been given. Let me assure the House that that permission certainly did not come from me.”

Mr Bercow explained that he had received “gracious, indeed fulsome, letters of apology” from Conservative backbencher Tracey Crouch, the former Sports Minister, Labour’s Stephanie Peacock and Louise Haigh. The other MP involved in the kick-about was fellow Labour MP Alison McGovern.

“I gently remind colleagues if they are seeking to use the chamber outside of sitting hours beyond for the purpose of simply showing it to guests, frankly they should write to me asking for their request to be considered,” explained the Speaker.

He added: "I have said what I have said; there are no hard feelings and I consider the matter to be closed."

Ms Bardell told The Herald she would drop Mr Bercow a line, “noting his comments and that I very much respect him; saying I certainly didn’t mean any disrespect but won’t be apologising”.

Asked if playing football in the Commons chamber was not a sign of disrespect, the SNP MP replied: “Far from being disrespectful, it shows Parliament in a different and more accessible and positive light at a time when it’s deeply divided; the women’s parliamentary football team[was] seeking to be positive, inclusive and have a little fun.”

This is not the first time the Nationalist backbencher has defied convention.

Earlier this year she was ticked off by the Speaker’s Office after tweeting a video from inside the Commons voting lobby, complaining about the length of time votes took. And during the Budget, she posted another video of the protest from the public gallery by the WASPI women campaigning for better state pensions. Ms Bardell has also attended a Commons debate wearing a Scotland football shirt.