Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Chris Bryant's J’Accuse moment

 

Share
Related Topics

Sensational scenes in the House! Chamber-wide shouting, localised growling, some howling, double-handed pointing from Francis Maude, Ivan Lewis playing pat-a-cake with piles of documents, the Speaker adding to his hate crimes against the Tories, Anna Soubry white with anger, Michael Gove Churchillian in facial pomp, Chris Bryant overplaying his hand and probably spoiling the parliamentary case against Hunt.

“He has lied to Parliament,” he said, to Tory shock. It was Bryant’s J’Accuse moment. He’s playing one-up with Tom Watson for headline chasing.

You can’t call people liars in the House of Commons. There was a small, polite riot. Mark Francois’ face bulged like a boil. One or two jaws actually fell open. George Osborne looked as though he for one wouldn’t forget this.

In the previous quarter hour, Bercow’s chairmanship of the Commons had returned to long-run form. He’d loftily swatted Anna Soubry and her “two years in the House”; he had chastised Michael Gove for 88 words for a two-word heckle. And as he did you could see the realisation settling in the Tory benches that the Speaker really doesn’t like them.

Allowing this most forbidden word to be used is, whatever the defence, an act of war.

Sir George Young cantilevered himself up to the dispatch box. “I’m not sure whether everyone heard correctly the allegation,” he said gently. “Lying to parliament . . . is in parliamentary language and should be withdrawn.” That is indeed everyone’s understanding. “With great respect to your office,” Jeremy Hunt quavered, “there is a huge difference between . . . etc”.

The Speaker, rattled, fell to bluster. “”There is a Motion. That Motion is being debated. I will be the arbiter of order, and I know he will leave that to me.”

The Clerk’s “media office” (what the Clerk is doing with a media office is anyone’s guess) says it’s in order – but for no obviously good reason. If your name appears in a Motion people can call you a liar, it was explained to me. Happens quite often. When? And where’s it written down? Er, I’ll get back to you.”

It's a rotten ruling, and if anyone other than the Speaker's pet had tried to get away with it they would have been slapped silly.

If the Speaker is ousted at the beginning of the next Parliament, yesterday’s events will feature in every report of his fall.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there