• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Lindsay Hoyle threatens to kick MPs out of 'pantomime' PMQs amid Partygate scandal

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The speaker threatened to eject MPs from the House of Commons who repeatedly shouted and heckled during a debate about Boris Johnson and the criminal probe into the Partygate scandal.

The prime minister remains locked in a tense political battle over allegations he broke strict lockdown laws to attend a "bring your own booze" party while the rest of the country was banned from seeing their own families.

Prime minister's questions offers a chance for MPs to hold Johnson to account for his actions and those of the government.

However, amid a febrile atmosphere, Sir Lindsay Hoyle had to berate MPs three times for drowning out questions and answers about the scandal.

Hoyle contrasted the behaviour in the House with the anger felt by many in the country that those in government were not sticking to lockdown rules while millions of others did.

He told them: "Unfortunately, and you might not believe this, but our constituents are very interested in both the questions and the answers.

"if some members do not wish to hear it, please leave quietly."

Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons (Parliament)
Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons. (Parliament)

But when MPs once again became too rowdy, he added: "Can I just say to both sides... our constituents are watching this, tensions are running high and what we need to be able to do is allow the people out there who are bothered about their futures to hear what is said on both sides.

"So please let's give the respect our constituents deserve."

Growing tired of their behaviour, Hoyle threatened to have them removed.

"Can I just say I don't want to do this, but I am determined to make sure our constituents can hear," he said, directing his comments at the Conservative back benches. "The next person who stops me from hearing will not be continuing in this debate."

Labour MP Jess Phillips compared the scenes to a panto, tweeting: "Tory MPs acting like a pantomime chorus as if it is not serious that the Prime Minister has been referred to the police. I hope they understand that the public are watching while they laugh in their faces."

Wednesday's PMQs came the day after it was announced the Metropolitan Police have launched a criminal probe into the reports of parties at Downing Street.

Johnson told MPs he agreed that the ministerial code does apply to him, but refused to comment on the Downing Street party investigation.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked: “The ministerial code says that ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation. Does the prime minister believe that applies to him?”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle threatened to remove MPs from the House of Commons if they did not quieten down (Parliament)
Sir Lindsay Hoyle threatened to remove MPs from the House of Commons if they did not quieten down. (Parliament)

Johnson replied: “Of course, but let me tell the House that I think he is inviting a question about an investigation which is – as you know, Mr Speaker, I cannot comment – and which he, as a lawyer, will know that I can’t comment on.”

The PM is awaiting the findings of a report from senior civil servant Sue Gray into parties which were allegedly held in Downing Street during the national lockdown.

The findings of the report are a make-or-break moment for the PM, with rumours that rebellious Tory MPs are waiting for the outcome to determine if they will launch a bid to oust him as party leader.

Johnson has also been coming under further pressure to resign after the Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced it was launching a criminal investigation into the reported gatherings.

The most recent allegation claims that the PM had a small gathering in the office on his birthday in June 2020, in which people shared a cake and sang happy birthday.

What is Gray's report about?

Gray was tasked with investigating alleged breaches of COVID legislation following multiple reports of gatherings happening within Downing Street while socialising was banned.

The prime minister — and his allies — have repeatedly refused to comment on the nature of any alleged parties, saying it would need to wait until the full report is published.

On Tuesday, Johnson told MPs that he "welcomed" the Met’s decision to conduct its own investigation" because it would "help to draw a line under matters”.

It is not yet known whether the PM will decide to publish all of the report, including any evidence gathered, or a summary of the findings.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting