Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Liveupdated1708728878

Lindsay Hoyle under pressure over Gaza vote as No 10 brands MP threats ‘attack on democracy’ - live

More than 70 MPs sign no-confidence motion in Commons speaker as PM expresses concerns

Namita Singh,Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Friday 23 February 2024 22:54 GMT
Comments
SNP and Conservative MPs walk out of the Commons over the speaker’s handling of the Gaza vote

Rishi Sunak has said it is “unacceptable” for protesters to demonstrate outside MPs’ homes as Downing Street said protest must not “turn into abuse”.

Speaking during a tour of North Wales on Friday, the prime minister said: “It’s simply unacceptable for intimidation or aggressive behaviour to threaten our parliamentary democracy and our freedom of expression.”

He added that he is giving police more power to clamp down on “intimidation and aggressive behaviour”.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “We will continue to keep MPs’ security under review to ensure that they have the protections that they need. We’re also both clear that we won’t allow democracy to be silenced or stifled.

“And intimidation against MPs is an attack on democracy and we won’t allow that to win.”

James Cleverly also vowed to be vigilant against threats and pressure on MPs after Sir Lindsay Hoyle argued his actions in the Gaza ceasefire vote were motivated by concern about security.

More than 70 Conservative and SNP MPs signed a no-confidence motion in Sir Lindsay in the aftermath.

1708728878

We’re pausing our live coverage of the fallout from the Commons chaos this week, but keep checking independent.co.uk for the latest updates.

Sam Rkaina23 February 2024 22:54
1708714815

Is the integrity of parliament being destroyed by the Commons speaker – and will he have to go?

Lindsay Hoyle must know that he cannot afford to alienate the party that is likely to form a government by the end of the year, writes John Rentoul. That may be disgraceful – but it is politics:

Lindsay Hoyle bungled it, as he admitted in a near-tearful statement from the speaker’s chair last night. “It ended up in the wrong place,” he said.

He can say that again. He changed the rules yesterday to allow a vote on Labour’s “immediate ceasefire with conditions” amendment, which meant Keir Starmer avoided a rebellion by his more pro-Palestinian MPs.

The speaker might have got away with it. He argued that he was trying to allow each of the three main parties a chance to vote on their own policy, which would have been perfectly reasonable had it not been for two things.

Is the integrity of parliament being destroyed by the speaker? | John Rentoul

Lindsay Hoyle must know that he cannot afford to alienate the party that is likely to form a government by the end of the year, writes John Rentoul. That may be disgraceful – but it is politics

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 19:00
1708713015

Police ‘need powers to disperse threatening protests outside Parliament’

Police should have the powers to “disperse” protests around Parliament, MPs’ offices and council chambers that they deem to be threatening, the Government’s political violence tsar has said.

Baron Walney, the UK Government’s adviser on political violence and disruption, said the “aggressive intimidation of MPs” by “mobs” was being “mistaken” for an “expression of democracy”.

The comments by Lord Walney come as the issue of MP safety has once again reared its head this week following a chaotic debate on the Israel-Hamas war.

Police ‘need powers to disperse threatening protests outside Parliament’

The Government’s political violence tsar Lord Walney said ‘aggressive intimidation of MPs’ was being mistaken for a democratic expression.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 18:30
1708711215

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 18:00
1708709415

Who is Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker embroiled in the Gaza ceasefire vote row?

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has found himself at the centre of a political storm this week following his controversial and unprecedented decision to allow MPs to vote on a Labour amendment to the SNP’s Gaza ceasefire motion.

Hoyle claims he made his decision to allow the “widest possible range of options” to be considered. In an unlikely union, many SNP and Conservative MPs have called for his resignation, lodging accusations of bias towards his former party.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Commons speaker, his life and political career:

Lindsay Hoyle: Who is the Commons speaker embroiled in the Gaza ceasefire vote row?

The Commons speaker has been regarded as mostly uncontroversial and unbiased – until now

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 17:30
1708707615

‘A race to the bottom for politics’: British Muslim and Palestinian groups criticise Commons chaos

British Muslim and Palestinian organisations have criticised the “disgraceful” House of Commons session which descended into chaos over the Gaza ceasefire debate.

The controversy was sparked when Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle broke convention to allow MPs to vote on a Labour amendment to the SNP’s Gaza ceasefire motion, sparking anger which has resulted in more than 70 MPs voting a no-confidence motion against him.

As the uproar in Westminster continues, organisations pushing for an immediate ceasefire have accused parliament of losing sight of the war through political games, as Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry estimates more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed during the conflict.

British Muslim and Palestinian groups slam Commons ceasefire chaos

‘Farcical’ scenes condemned as parliament fails to vote for ceasefire while Gaza death toll rises

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 17:00
1708706499

More than 70 MPs sign no confidence motion in Speaker

More than 70 MPs have now signed a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker after angry scenes in the Commons on Wednesday.

Senior Conservatives and Scottish National Party MPs have put their names to the “early day motion” proposed by senior Tory William Wragg in a move intended to pressure the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, to step down.

On Friday afternoon, the total number of signatures stood at 71, including Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, former Tory deputy chairmen Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn and his deputy Mhairi Black.

More than half of the SNP’s Westminster contingent have signed the motion, reflecting anger in the party at the Speaker’s handling of its opposition day motion on Wednesday, while 40 Conservatives and one Independent, former Tory Rob Roberts, have joined them.

Environmental Audit Committee chairman Philip Dunne appeared to have signed the motion but then withdrew his signature shortly afterwards.

The total means that more than 10% of the Commons has backed the call for Sir Lindsay to step down, but the momentum behind Mr Wragg’s motion appears to have slowed with only four names being added to the list on Friday.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 16:41
1708704077

Cleverly backs Hoyle as almost 70 MPs sign call for Speaker to quit

Home Secretary James Cleverly gave his personal backing to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle despite criticism of his handling of a Gaza ceasefire debate.

The Speaker gained the support of the senior Cabinet minister even as he faced continued pressure to step down.

Nearly 70 MPs, more than a tenth of the Commons, have signed a motion proposed by senior Conservative William Wragg expressing no confidence in him after Wednesday’s SNP Opposition Day vote descended into chaos.

Cleverly backs Hoyle as almost 70 MPs sign call for Speaker to quit

Sir Lindsay Hoyle gained the support of the senior Cabinet minister as he faced continued pressure to step down.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 16:01
1708702317

Welsh Conservative leader pledges to stop 20mph speed limits

The Welsh Conservative leader has pledged to scrap 20mph default speed limits if they got into power.

Speaking at the Welsh Conservative Conference in Llandudno, Andrew RT Davies said: “We’ll scrap Labour and Plaid’s barmy 20mph speed limits - to get Wales moving and stop the Welsh economy suffering a £9 billion hit.”

He added: “Labour wants to make Wales the place where common sense goes to die. And that is most clear when we look at Labour and Plaid’s barmy 20mph speed limits.

“This idea, dreamed up by lycra-clad lobbyists, has now become law in Wales. It’s common sense that outside schools and hospitals - 20mph should be the speed limit.

“But Labour and Plaid’s policy is extreme.

“They’ve admitted it’ll hit the Welsh economy by up to £9 billion. They’ve imposed it on Wales regardless.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 15:31
1708700130

No 10 brands threats towards MPs an ‘attack on democracy'

Downing Street declined to say whether Rishi Sunak supports protest exclusion zones around MPs’ offices.

A No 10 spokeswoman told reporters on Friday: “I’m just not going to get into specifics around protective security and arrangements...

“We will continue to keep MPs’ security under review to ensure that they have the protections that they need. We’re also both clear that we won’t allow democracy to be silenced or stifled.

“And intimidation against MPs is an attack on democracy and we won’t allow that to win.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 February 2024 14:55

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in