David Cameron and Nick Clegg sworn in as MPs

Prime Minister David Cameron and his Deputy Nick Clegg were today sworn in as MPs in the new-look House of Commons.

Tory and Lib Dem ministers from the coalition Government were among the first batch of newly-elected MPs to take the oath or affirm in order to take their seats on the famous green benches.



Speaker John Bercow, who was yesterday re-elected to the office, was the first Member to be sworn in, followed by Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell.



Mr Clegg, who is an atheist, chose to affirm rather than swear an oath on one of the holy books.



The process of swearing in MPs is expected to continue into next week.



More than a third of MPs - 226 of the 650-seat chamber - will be fresh faces in Parliament after the expenses scandal prompted the biggest exodus in living memory.



According to tradition, the Speaker is the first MP to take the oath, followed by the Father of the House, the Cabinet, the shadow cabinet and other privy counsellors and ministers.



Backbench MPs are taken in order of seniority, based on length of service in the Commons.



MPs can choose to swear on either the New Testament, the Old Testament (in English or Hebrew), the Koran, the Granth, the Welsh Bible or the Gaelic Bible.











Mr Bercow warned MPs that they would be on camera and their words could be picked up by microphones in the Commons chamber.



In 1997 former Labour minister Tony Banks was caught on camera with his fingers crossed when he took the oath of allegiance to the Queen.



Mr Bercow said: "I remind Members that the taking of the oath, as a proceeding of the House, is recorded by the television cameras and that anything said or done by Members may appear on television or be picked up by microphones."



The Speaker was re-elected without a vote yesterday despite objections from a small number of MPs.



There were cries of "hear, hear" from MPs as Mr Bercow detailed MPs' privileges, including the right to "freedom from arrest".



Mr Bercow restated his "absolute impartiality in this Chamber and beyond it" and his commitment to give backbench MPs "their rightful voice" in Commons proceedings.



Members who have not sworn in may not receive salaries, take their seats, speak in debate or vote.



They could be fined £500 and - more important - have their seat declared vacant "as if they were dead" if they attempt to do so.







Of the Cabinet who were present, all swore an oath of allegiance on one of the holy books as opposed to affirming. But Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin chose to affirm.



There was a murmur among MPs as Labour leadership contender David Miliband was the first to step to the Despatch Box when the shadow Cabinet took their turn.



After affirming, he was followed by former Chancellor Alistair Darling and acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, who also chose to affirm.



The vast majority of shadow Cabinet members present chose to affirm, although former Cabinet Ministers Ben Bradshaw and Shaun Woodward were among those who swore an oath of allegiance on one of the holy books. Former Transport Minister Sadiq Khan swore his oath of allegiance on the Koran.



Labour Privy Counsellors Alun Michael and Ann Clwyd were both sworn in as MPs in Welsh.









Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley, who was today suspended from the Labour Party, chose to affirm.



Mr Illsley is accused of dishonestly claiming more than £20,000 in expenses. He is the fifth politician to face criminal charges after last year's expenses scandal, and will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court next month.



After being sworn in as an MP, Mr Illsley had a one-minute conversation with Mr Bercow in the Speaker's Chair, holding his handshake throughout.



Labour's Stephen Pound (Ealing N) crossed himself after swearing his oath and then kissed the Speaker's hand.







Lib Dem Andrew George (St Ives) took the oath in Cornish. The proud Cornishman led the parliamentary campaign to have the language officially recognised.



He claims to have been the first MP to speak Cornish in the Chamber when he made his maiden speech in 1997.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?