Business secretary Kemi Badenoch has been furiously told off by the Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle for a lack of manners.
Rishi Sunak is under fire from the right of the Conservative Party for watering down plans to scrap some EU laws that are still in force.
Badenoch was summoned to the Commons on Thursday to explain the decision, having confirmed it in an article for this morning’s Daily Telegraph.
An angry Hoyle told her it was “highly regrettable” she had announced the move in the press not to MPs.
“We are elected to hear it first not to hear it in the Daily Telegraph,” he said.
"Who do you think you're speaking to?... I am not going to be spoken to by a Secretary of State who is absolutely not accepting my ruling"
Sir Lindsay Hoyle rebukes Kemi Badenoch over announcing changes to Retained EU Law Bill to the mediahttps://t.co/b9xf9ay3IMpic.twitter.com/8MJUDWUB3Q
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 11, 2023
Badenoch told Hoyle she was “very sorry that the sequence that we chose was not to your satisfaction”.
But her comment prompte a fuming response from Hoyle, who accused the cabinet minister of failing to use the “correct manners”.
“Who do you think you’re speaking to secretary of state?” he said.
“I think we need to understand each other. I am the defender of this House and these benches on both sides.
“I am not going to be spoken to by a secretary of state who is absolutely not accepting my ruling. Take it with good grace.”
Hoyle added: “These members were elected by their constituents and they have the right to hear it first.
“It is time this government recognised we are al elected, we are all MPs, and used the correct manners.”
Badenoch told Hoyle she wished to “apologise”, adding: “I was tying to say I am vey sorry I did not see the standards which you accept of secretary of state, forgive my language.”
During his Tory leadership campaign against Liz Truss in the summer, Sunak pledged to put EU laws through the “shredder” in his firs 100 days in office.
But now only 600 laws would be revoked under the government’s legislation, rather than 4,000.
Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg this morning attacked Sunak for breaking his word.
“I’m afraid it’s no good being holier-than-thou if you then end up behaving like a Borgia,” he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
The House of Borgia was a wealthy dynasty notorious during the Italian Renaissance for corruption and immorality.
Speaking to GB News, Home Office minister Sarah Dines earlier defended the shift as “not quite a U-turn”.
“It’s a more calculated, calm way of getting rid of some of these laws. We don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” she said.
The climbdown was cautiously welcomed by critics in business and environmental groups who had warned the project was unfeasible and that important regulations would be scrapped without proper scrutiny.