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More than 60 MPs call for Speaker to quit over Gaza vote

More than 60 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 Thursday evening, the total number of signatures stood at 67, 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.

Downing Street partygate
Senior Conservative William Wragg has put down a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker (UK Parliament/PA)

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 39 Conservatives and one Independent, former Tory Rob Roberts, have joined them.

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

As an early day motion, it is very unlikely to be debated on the floor of the Commons, but a large number of signatures could signify that the Speaker has lost the confidence of the House and persuade him to step down.

There does not appear to be a formal mechanism for removing a Speaker, with previous holders of the office only being replaced on their resignation or death, but it would be difficult for him to carry on if a significant number of MPs called for him to go or he lost a confidence vote in the Commons.

In 2009, Speaker Michael Martin was effectively forced to resign over his handling of the MPs’ expenses scandal, the first Speaker to be forced out in more than 300 years.

On that occasion, only 23 MPs signed an “unprecedented” motion calling for him to step down, which he did only days after the motion was published.

Details of politicians’ expenses revealed
Michael Martin was forced to resign as Speaker in 2009 over his handling of the MPs’ expenses scandal (House of Commons/PA)

But while fewer MPs signed the 2009 motion, signatories came from all three main parties and a succession of other backbenchers from across the Commons publicly told Mr Martin to resign.

In the current case, only Conservative and SNP MPs have signed the motion, while Mr Flynn is the only party leader to have called for Sir Lindsay to resign.

The full list of MPs who have signed the early day motion is as follows:

William Wragg (Conservative)
Gary Sambrook (Con)
Jill Mortimer (Con)
John Stevenson (Con)
Kieran Mullan (Con)
Anthony Mangnall (Con)
Sir James Duddridge (Con)
Jo Gideon (Con)
Chris Green (Con)
Bob Blackman (Con)
Tom Randall (Con)
Jonathan Lord (Con)
Karl McCartney (Con)
Derek Thomas (Con)
Jack Brereton (Con)
Tom Hunt (Con)
David Linden (SNP)
Stewart Malcolm McDonald (SNP)
Chris Law (SNP)
John McNally (SNP)
Gavin Newlands (SNP)
Pete Wishart (SNP)
James Grundy (Con)
Martyn Day (SNP)
Joanna Cherry (SNP)
Patricia Gibson (SNP)
Brendan Clarke-Smith (Con)
Lee Anderson (Con)
Alison Thewliss (SNP)
Anum Qaisar (SNP)
Sir Graham Brady (Con)
Eddie Hughes (Con)
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Con)
Douglas Chapman (SNP)
Carol Monaghan (SNP)
Marco Longhi (Con)
Drew Hendry (SNP)
Rob Roberts (Independent)
Anne McLaughlin (SNP)
John Nicolson (SNP)
Simon Baynes (Con)
Shaun Bailey (Con)
Matt Warman (Con)
Alyn Smith (SNP)
Kirsty Blackman (SNP)
Ronnie Cowan (SNP)
Steve Double (Con)
Danny Kruger (Con)
Miriam Cates (Con)
Dave Doogan (SNP)
Amy Callaghan (SNP)
Sir Robert Goodwill (Con)
Lia Nici (Con)
Brendan O’Hara (SNP)
Jonathan Gullis (Con)
Kelly Tolhurst (Con)
Alan Brown (SNP)
Luke Evans (Con)
Jane Hunt (Con)
Stephen Flynn (SNP)
Ian Levy (Con)
Mhairi Black (SNP)
Richard Thomson (SNP)
Kirsten Oswald (SNP)
Allan Dorans (SNP)
Paul Howell (Con)
Andrew Lewer (Con)