Speaker John Bercow grabbed in Commons chaos as MPs stage ‘silenced’ protest at Parliament suspension

Parliament descended into chaos in the early hours of Monday morning as opposition MPs staged a protest against its five-week suspension.

Some Labour MPs held up signs with "silenced" written on them.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, appeared to try to hold on to Speaker John Bercow at the point he was requested to lead MPs to the Lords, with doorkeepers forced to intervene.

Mr Bercow announced yesterday he will step down as Speaker by the end of October.

Speaker John Bercow is surrounded by Labour MPs holding paper with "silenced" written on them (Picture: Stephen Morgan MP/Twitter)

Shouts of "shame on you" could be heard as Conservative MPs left the Commons to head to the House of Lords for the prorogation ceremony.

The amazing scenes followed another Commons defeat for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his second attempt to call an early general election.

The PM has so far lost all six votes during his leadership.

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Mr Bercow weighed into the argument with a criticism of the suspension of Parliament.

He said: "I'm perfectly happy to play my part, but I do want to make the point that this is not a standard or normal prorogation.

"It's one of the longest for decades and it represents an act of executive fiat."

John Bercow announced he will stand down as Commons Speaker (Picture: Reuters)

One of the "silenced" signs was left in Mr Bercow's chair after he had departed.

Luciana Berger, who defected to the Lib Dems from Labour, tweeted an image of a “silenced” piece of paper on the back benches.

"It's the end of a very long and shameful day," she wrote.

The unusually long period between the ceremony of prorogation and the Queen's Speech on October 14 has provoked warnings about a lack of time to deal with Brexit matters ahead of the next deadline on October 31.

Mr Johnson had hoped to call a general election for mid-October but failed twice to secure enough support from MPs for his idea.

Instead, MPs approved legislation which is designed to stop the Government from forcing through a no-deal Brexit at the end of next month.

MPs boycott Lords ceremony

The prorogation ceremony began in a bad-tempered manner with some MPs shouting "no" when Black Rod Sarah Clarke, the senior House of Lords officer tasked with leading the ceremony, asked MPs to visit the Lords.

MPs applaud as John Bercow announces that he will stand down as Speaker (Picture: PA/Getty)

Meanwhile, the opposition benches in the Lords were empty as both Labour and Liberal Democrat peers boycotted the ceremony in protest at the suspension of Parliament.

It was left to Tory leader in the Lords Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler and convener of the independent crossbenchers Lord Hope of Craighead to formally receive the Commons Speaker and MPs.

MPs have a sing-off

With the ceremony ongoing in the Lords, a sing-off emerged in the Commons.

SNP MPs began singing Scots Wha Hae - considered by the party to be the alternative national anthem - on the Commons benches.

Labour MPs sang the Red Flag and Jerusalem before SNP MP Gavin Newlands jokingly appealed to Conservative MPs to sing - with no response.

The SNP also sang Flower of Scotland while Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru offered Bread of Heaven.

Ode to Joy, recognised as an EU anthem, was also hummed by some MPs.

Speaker John Bercow was applauded by opposition MPs after he returned from the Lords.

"I feel much more at home here," said Mr Bercow.

One MP jokingly asked if he had been offered a peerage.

Mr Bercow replied: "Who said it has been offered?"

He then invited MPs to shake his hand once prorogation had been confirmed.

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