Sir Keir Starmer may yet avoid a damaging rebellion after the Speaker of the House of Commons overturned Parliament's standing orders to let MPs vote on Labour's amendment to an SNP's motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The "exceptional" decision infuriated SNP and Conservative MPs. There were cries of “shameful” in the chamber.

There were reports too that Sir Lindsay Hoyle had been threatened by senior figures in the Labour party. 

His own clerk released a lengthy letter revealing that he believed “long-established principles are not being followed in this case”.

READ MORE: Starmer faces new rebellion from Labour MPs over SNP ceasefire motion 

If Labour's amendment passes then the SNP's motion, as originally drafted, will not be put to a vote.

However, if the Labour amendment falls - which is possible if Tory MPs vote against it - then the Commons will get to vote on the SNP motion, as originally drafted.

They will also get to vote on the Government amendment which “supports moves towards a permanent sustainable ceasefire.”

Yesterday, Sir Keir told his MPs to abstain on the SNP motion, because it accuses Israel of “the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Reports suggested as many as 80 of his MPs were set to defy him. Some of his frontbenchers were on the cusp of quitting so that they could vote for the SNP motion. 

It looked as if the Tories had effectively kiboshed the Labour amendment last night after they tabled their own amendment to the SNP's Opposition Day debate motion.

Parliament's standing orders suggest that the Speaker could only put the government’s words to a vote.

However, addressing MPs before the start of the debate, Sir Lindsay Hoyle said it was important MPs were "able to consider the widest possible range of options."

He told the chamber that Labour’s amendment would be voted on first, followed by the SNP’s original motion, then the Government’s amendment if the original text was not agreed to.

Sir Lindsay told MPs he would be publishing the reasoning behind his decision, but there was laughter and heckling as he said the rules governing the way amendments to the Opposition Day motions are dealt with was "an outdated approach."

One Tory MP could be heard to mutter that the Commons Speaker was “moving the goalposts” as he first confirmed his plans.

The SNP chief whip Owen Thompson raised a point of order, saying that by allowing both a Labour and government amendment to be debated, the Speaker was "doing things in a way that's never been done before".

Shortly after the Speaker's remarks, the Clerk of the House of Commons, Tom Goldsmith, shared a letter in which he revealed that he warned Sir Lindsay that “long-established conventions are not being followed in this case”.

According to BBC Newsnight Political Edirtor, Nick Watt, the Speaker's decision came after senior Labour figures told him they would bring him down unless he called their amendment

Taking to X, the site formerly known as Twitter, the journalist said Sir Lindsay was told he would not get support from Labour MPs after the general election

READ MORE: MPs must reflect the British people's wishes on Gaza

Opening the debate, the SNP foreign affairs spokesman Brendan O’Hara told the Commons that voting for an immediate ceasefire "won’t by itself bring about the end of the slaughter."

However, he said "the impact and the optics of this Parliament, hitherto one of Israel’s staunchest allies, saying enough is enough and calling for an immediate ceasefire would be enormous."

“And while not in and of itself able to bring about a ceasefire, support for this motion would further remove that ever-thinning veil of legitimacy that the UK’s continued support gives to Israel’s merciless war in Gaza, and it would show the beleaguered and battered people of Palestine that we do care and that we have not forgotten them.

“And calling for an immediate ceasefire would also be a pivotal moment in the campaign to stop UK arms sales to Israel.”

Tory MP Alexander Stafford told the SNP politician that the "only way, the most certain way of ending this conflict is by Hamas releasing the hostages, including a nine-month-old baby who was kidnapped by Hamas.”

Mr O’Hara replied: “I think the very first sentence I said was we utterly condemn the Hamas attack and we implore them to release the hostages, but there has to be a pathway to reaching that.”