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Embattled Speaker faces more pressure to go after rejecting second Gaza debate

26 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Photo House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is facing renewed pressure to step down as Commons Speaker after he was accused of having “broken his word” over promises of another debate on Gaza.

The Speaker rejected a bid by the SNP on Monday for an emergency debate on a ceasefire and an end to UK arms sales to Israel, despite offering such a debate last week while apologising for his handling of last Wednesday’s ceasefire motion.

The decision brought a flurry of new signatures to a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker, with 80 MPs now backing the call for Sir Lindsay to step down.


SNP leader Stephen Flynn said Sir Lindsay’s decision “called into question” the trust placed in him as Speaker.

He told the PA news agency: “Last week the Speaker of the House of Commons broke the rules, this week he has broken his word.”

He added: “I would imagine that parliamentarians across the chamber will be deeply concerned about the fact that the Speaker of the House of Commons has made a clear and unambiguous statement, stating that he would have a debate and a vote in relation to the situation in Gaza, and that he has instead opted not to do that.”

Mr Flynn had asked in a point of order why his request for an emergency debate on Monday had been denied, despite the Speaker’s earlier promise that one could be held.


Sir Lindsay said the subject of a ceasefire in Gaza would be brought before the Commons on Tuesday, when it is understood that development minister Andrew Mitchell will make a statement to the House.

He said: “In determining whether a matter is urgent I must have regard to the probability of the matter being brought before the House in time by other means. The House came to a resolution on this matter on Wednesday last week.

“Further, I understand the Government is ready to make a relevant statement tomorrow so there is a very imminent opportunity for this important matter to come before the House.”

Mr Flynn told PA: “The public aren’t zipped up the back. They understand that a statement means you get questions and answers, not a debate and a vote.”

Sir Lindsay’s decision last Wednesday to allow a debate on a Labour amendment to the SNP’s motion calling for a ceasefire provoked angry scenes in the Commons and calls for the Speaker to resign.

The next day, Sir Lindsay apologised, saying: “I regret it. I apologise to the SNP … I apologise and I apologise to the House. I made a mistake. We do make mistakes. I own up to mine.

“I would say that we can have an SO24 (Standing Order 24) to get an immediate debate because the debate is so important to this House.”

Momentum behind the motion of no confidence in Sir Lindsay, put down by Conservative William Wragg, appeared to slow after his apology, with only four MPs adding their names on Friday, but a further nine signed it after Mr Flynn’s point of order on Monday.

Some 36 SNP MPs have now signed the motion, along with 42 Conservatives and two independents, Rob Roberts and Lee Anderson.

The new signatures mean around 12% of the Commons has now called for Sir Lindsay to resign.

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Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
1 month ago

Lindsay Hoyle (should be Hwyl, by now) is corrupt. He’s bought and paid for, just like Keir Starmer. Two examples of insidious British and imperialist politics yet again.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

If he is admitting mistakes then perhaps he could apologise for enabling Fat Shanks and Handcock etc to get away with ‘murder’…as they say in Newtown ‘Get From Here’…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
1 month ago

The whole thing is fatuous because we have no real interest which could resolve the situation. To use an international crisis to advance party status as the SNP the Labour Party and the Conservatives have all done is contemptible and demonstrates that none of the parties are fit to hold office at present. Despite Lisa Nandy’s pathetic denials there is the suspicion that Keir Starmer twisted the Speakers arm. Both Starmer and Hoyle are weakened by this and both should resign.

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