SOUTH Swindon MP Robert Buckland has branded the row over a claim that the government may be in contempt of Parliament 'a distraction'.

The Solicitor General appeared on Newsnight and BBC Breakfast to discuss the issue, which was brought up the evening before MPs were due to spend the first of five days debating the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

Speaking to the Adver, Mr Buckland said: "This is just a Parliamentary parlour game that is trying to cause disruption and uncertainty at a time when people I represent in Swindon are crying out for certainty."

Commons Speaker John Bercow said that there was an "arguable case" that a contempt of Parliament had been committed as a motion had been passed in the House to publish the full and final legal advice given by the Attorney General about the Brexit deal but the government had refused to publish the full documents.

Instead, it brought the Attorney General to the House to give an overview of his legal advice and answer questions from MPs. The motion to publish the full legal advice had been voted in by six opposition parties.

Mr Buckland added: "Two principles have collided here - the will of Parliament and the Law Officer's convention, where confidential advice may be given to the government to assist with their decision-making.

"The convention is being ridden roughshod by the opposition parties because it's convenient for them to do so, it's a distraction. They are causing trouble that reflects well on nobody."

UPDATE, 5.12pm: The government has decided to publish the Brexit legal advice in full after MPs found it in contempt of UK Parliament.

The Commons supported a motion, backed by six opposition parties, demanding full disclosure by 311 votes to 293.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom indicated that the attorney general's full and final advice would be released on Wednesday.

An attempt by ministers to refer the whole issue to a committee of MPs was defeated earlier by four votes.