Labour MP defends Commons ejection of Dawn Butler for calling Boris Johnson a liar
Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant has defended the expulsion of fellow party member Dawn Butler from the House of Commons debating chamber.
Butler, a fellow Labour MP, was ordered to leave after refusing to withdraw a remark during a debate on the pandemic response that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had, “lied to the House and the country over and over again”.
Chris Bryant took to Twitter to defend the decision, saying that Acting Deputy Speaker Judith Cummins had “no choice”.
He states: “To be clear, there are circumstances when you can accuse another member of lying, being corrupt or whatever you want in parliament.
“Otherwise we would never be able to suspend or expel a member. It just has to be in a debate on a specific motion on the conduct of the member.
“That’s why my colleague @JudithCummins had no choice but to ask my other colleague @DawnButlerBrent to apologise or withdraw.
“What is not in doubt in my mind is that the PM regularly misleads parliament and never corrects the record. He lies. And it’s time we all debated it.”
House of Commons rules on unparliamentary language forbid MPs from accusing fellow politicians of any kind of deliberate deceit.
Past words that have also been deemed ‘unparliamentary’ include blackguard, coward, git, guttersnipe, hooligan, rat, swine, stoolpigeon and traitor.
The response of Chris Bryant contrasted with that of another Rhondda politician, with former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood fully supportive of Dawn Butler’s actions:
Well done @DawnButlerBrent for saying it like it is. ✊
He has told lies. Big ones too.
When you get thrown out of the chamber for speaking the truth, you are winning. Keep going. 💪
— Leanne Wood 💚💛 (@LeanneWood) July 22, 2021
Being thrown out of a national chamber is something that Leanne Wood has personal experience of.
As a Plaid Cymru AS, she was ordered to leave the Senedd in 2004 by Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas after having referred to the Queen as ‘Mrs Windsor’.
Dawn Butler is the 14th Westminster MP to have been dismissed from the House of Commons chamber since records first started to be kept in 1992.