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Rhondda MP ‘utterly mortified’ after ‘altercation’ with House of Commons speaker

15 Dec 2020 2 minutes Read

Rhondda’s MP has said that he is “utterly mortified” after a stand-off with the Speaker of the House of Commons last week.

Chris Bryant was accused of “disgraceful behaviour” last Wednesday by the Speaker Lindsey Hoyle after what one MP said was a “face pulling and finger pointing contest”.

Today Chris Bryant, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standards Board, apologised in a personal statement in the Commons.

Last week Lindsey Hoyle had asked him to move elsewhere in the Commons during the debate but according to one witness Bryant threw his hands in the air and swore, a claim he denies.

Today Bryant said he was “utterly mortified by the events of last week when my heckling interrupted proceedings during Prime Minister’s Questions and when I challenged the authority of the chair”.

“I entered an altercation with the chair and I did not treat the chair with due respect. That is unacceptable and I apologise unreservedly to the house, and to you personally Mr. Speaker.

“I really wish none of this had ever occurred and I fully accept that my conduct was unacceptable.”

The Speaker said that he accepted Chris Bryant’s apology “and I am content that that draws a line under the matter”.

 

What happened last week?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was speaking when the Speaker, Linsday Hoyle, suddenly called out the Labour MP.

“Order, Mr Bryant….Mr Bryant….?” When he did not appear, he said: “I suggest the whip goes and has a word with him. We’re not having that disgraceful behaviour.”

One backbencher who was sat in the Commons said that the row was about where Bryant was standing, allegedly infront of a door that had been left open for ventilation.

The MP said: “The speaker told him to move and he wouldn’t. They then had a face pulling and finger-pointing contest.”

Chris Bryant, who challenged Lindsay Hoyle for the Speaker role last year, appeared later at the left-hand side of the Speaker’s chair.

Hoyle again interrupted proceedings to say: “Mr Bryant I think we need this conversation later.” Bryant then left the chamber.

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