MP is thrown out for using camera phone
Friday 19 December 2003
A Conservative MP was thrown out of the Commons yesterday for brandishing his digital camera phone from the back benches.
Henry Bellingham, MP for Norfolk North West, incurred the wrath of the Speaker, Michael Martin, during Treasury questions when the glint of his camera lens caught the Speaker's eye.
Mr Martin immediately brought Treasury questions to a halt. He interrupted a reply by Paul Boateng, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to remonstrate with Mr Bellingham, declaring: "I understand you are using a camera."
The Speaker added: "I suggest you leave the chamber. You shouldn't even be using a mobile phone. I ask you to leave."
Mr Martin has frequently objected to the "beep-beep" of MPs' pagers in the Commons chamber, one of the few places in London kept scrupulously free from mobile phone ringtones.
Mr Bellingham, a 48-year-old barrister, admitted his crime but clearly was unhappy with the swiftness and severity of his punishment.
"I was sitting quite near the front of the chamber with my mobile, which has a digital camera attached," he said. "The clerk obviously realised and told the Speaker.
"I think it's a bit tough to give me a red card straight away. Normally you get a yellow card first.
"Lots of MPs bring up their text messages, e-mails or caller logs on their phones," Mr Bellingham said.
"I think it is a bit mean, but he is a Speaker and I must accept the ruling."
No time limit is set for returning to the chamber in such situations but Mr Bellingham said: "I probably won't go back in today."
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is urgently re...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED...
£6720 - £38400 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Can you teach Food Te...