DUP's Gavin Robinson brings Commons into fits of laughter as NI's MPs make their opening speeches

DUP leader Gavin Robinson brought the House of Commons into fits of laughter as he responded to a remark from Speaker-elect Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

During his opening speech, Sir Hoyle remarked that he had been "Speaker during the tenure of three Prime Ministers, two monarchs and one Jim Shannon," a quip about the DUP MP for Strangford's eagerness to speak during debates in the chamber.

Rising to his feet, the Mr Robinson congratulated the Speaker on his re-election to the chair and joked: "for those new members of Parliment who have yet to understand just how this place works, some of them will learn through time that Jim Shannon needed no further encouragement and so, as the reference was appreciated no doubt by his mother and others, others will learn to see the consequences."

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Mr Robinson continued to recall how he met a constituent of the Speaker while campaigning in the Foyle constituency which prompted a heckle from the SDLP's Colum Eastwood who shouted "Derry" following Mr Robinson referencing Londonderry.

In his opening remarks, Mr Eastwood said he is "very glad to be back" and that he looks forward to holding the new Government to account.

"I want to take this opportunity also to welcome all the new Members, even the ones I profoundly disagree with," he said as he turned to face the TUV's Jim Allister.

"The one piece of advice I would give every new member here is that the Speaker doesn't just chair the meetings, he is the boss. He is in charge of everything around this place and you would do well not to fall out with him. In fact, even a bit of sucking up sometimes is good," he quipped to the laughter of the Chamber, before praising the Speaker for his work during the last Parliament.

The Alliance's Sorcha Eastwood used her opening remarks to congratulate the Speaker on his reelection and said her presence in the chamber "demonstrates a changing, more shared and integrated Northern Ireland."

Reflecting earlier remarks from the Prime Minister, Ms Eastwood said: "all of us in this House do owe a debt of gratitude to our constituents. I will never forget the constituents of Lagan Valley and I join with everybody and the whole House to looking forward and committing to public service for all."

The TUV's Jim Allister was sat next to Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, despite Mr Farage having ripped up an agreement between the two parties and backed his opponent Ian Paisley in the election.

In his opening remarks, Mr Allister congratulated the Speaker and said that while he had observed him from a distance, he looked forward to working with him.

"Me at my best behaviour and you at your tolerant best, I trust that we will have a mutually cordial relationship going forward and I will certainly draw upon your guidance and experience that you bring to this House.

"As I come to this House, I come on behalf of constituents in Northern Ireland with a very clear message that Northern Ireland's place within this United Kingdom must be restored. We must end the partitioning of our kingdom by a foreign border and we must end a situation where 300 areas of law in Northern Ireland are not controlled by this House, not controlled by Stormont, but controlled by a foreign parliament. That is an appalling constitutional affront."

Mr Allister told MPs his focus will be on playing his part in addressing what he termed a "gross inequity".

Although present in the chamber, the UUP's Robin Swann nor Independent MP for North Down Alex Easton were called to speak.

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