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Cleverly backs Hoyle as almost 70 MPs sign call for Speaker to quit

23 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle – Image: Hannah McKay

Home Secretary James Cleverly gave his personal backing to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle despite criticism of his handling of a Gaza ceasefire debate.

The Speaker gained the support of the senior Cabinet minister even as he faced continued pressure to step down.

Nearly 70 MPs, more than a tenth of the Commons, have signed a motion proposed by senior Conservative William Wragg expressing no confidence in him after Wednesday’s SNP Opposition Day vote descended into chaos.

Sir Lindsay has apologised for his “mistake” and offered an emergency debate on the Scottish Nationalists’ motion calling for a ceasefire in a bid to calm their fury over their proposal being sidelined.

‘Fresh air’

Mr Cleverly told Sky News on Friday: “I think the Speaker has done a fantastic job. I think he’s been a breath of fresh air compared with his predecessor.

“He made a mistake. He’s apologised for the mistake.

“My view is that I’m supportive of him.”

Mr Cleverly stressed it was his personal view because the selection of the Speaker is “House business” rather than for Government ministers to decide.

Rishi Sunak reiterated his view that Sir Lindsay’s choice over the Gaza debate was “concerning”, but suggested he was willing to draw a line under the episode by pointing to the Speaker’s apology.

During a visit to north Wales on Friday, the Prime Minister told reporters: “What happened in Parliament earlier this week was concerning.

“The usual ways in which Parliament works, the usual processes which govern how Parliament works, were changed.

“Now, the Speaker subsequently apologised for that and said that he made the wrong decision.”

Sir Lindsay’s explanation that he was motivated by concerns about MPs’ security has sparked further debate about the impact of threats and intimidation around the work of Parliament.

Pressure 

Mr Sunak on Thursday warned that it was a “slippery slope” to let “extremists intimidate us into changing the way in which Parliament works”.

Mr Cleverly echoed that by saying: “Members of Parliament and indeed elected officials through all layers of Government have got to act without fear or favour.”

His predecessor Suella Braverman went further, writing in Friday’s Daily Telegraph that the events of Wednesday had “undermined the integrity of Parliament”, adding: “The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the antisemites are in charge now.”

Mr Cleverly said he did not “always agree with everything” Ms Braverman said.

“But it is absolutely the case that we must make sure that we crack down on extremist behaviour, it’s absolutely the case that we must not let our democracy be distorted through fear or intimidation,” he added.

If further signatures are added to Mr Wragg’s motion, Sir Lindsay will face additional pressure to go.

There is no formal procedure for removing a speaker, but in 2009 Michael Martin resigned from the post after it became clear he had lost the confidence of MPs across the Commons.

Some Conservatives have been reluctant to blame the Speaker for Wednesday’s events, instead pointing the finger at Sir Keir Starmer.

The Labour leader has denied suggestions he pressured Sir Lindsay into selecting a Labour amendment to the SNP motion in a bid to avert a potential rebellion by Labour MPs.

Sir Keir insisted he “simply urged” him to have “the broadest possible debate” by putting a number of options in front of MPs.


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Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
1 month ago

In a way Lindsay Hoyle has done both Parliament and the Nation a favour in making us look at issues to do with Islamic extremism which we would rather avoid. Suella Braverman is the wrong person to say it really but what she said about Islamic extremism is absolutely correct. It is as much a threat to ordinary Moslems as any other citizens. This is evidenced by Hamas who have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind. If they had not attacked Israel life in Gaza would likely be more ordinary today.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Meanwhile who is talking up more wars including a world war. Not anyone of the Islamic faith. Life in Gaza has been awful for decades. The Gorilla tactics used against the population by Isreal have been cruel to put it mildy.Trappe in a small area of land with freedom of an open prison. Shame on you.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

It’s now obvious Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle broke protocol when he allowed Labour to effectively trample over the SNP’s Opposition Day Gaza Ceasefire debate out of self-interest after Israeli puppet Keir Starmer bent his ear out of fear Labour MPs would vote with the SNP. And no amount of grovelling apologies will dig out this sly nodding dog from his pit of despair. He simply must go!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Bluto backs ‘Olive’ Hoyle…Popeye says hands off he’s my ‘Goil’…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Why anyone should stick up for the Speaker he ain’t no Marshall just Deputy Shank’s lap dog…short memories are made of this Shtick…

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
1 month ago

Hoyle allows MPs to get away with conduct neither Betty Boothroyd nor John Bercow would have tolerated.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Woods

Bercow did. He never sorted the expenses like he was selected too, just got gobby after brexit vote. So lets not pretend, its the Westminster rot that is the root. The whole systme fails human values.

cablestreet
cablestreet
1 month ago

Act without fear or favour? One only has to look at the recent events visited on Llanelli when the Stradey Park Hotel was descended upon by various far right factions. Both the MS and MP were told to stay away from the site for their own safety by the police, their office was attacked and were then vilified for their absence .
Braverman comments  “The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the antisemites are in charge now.” Perhaps she should reflect on what happened in Llanelli with the far right under her watch.

Last edited 1 month ago by cablestreet

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