Friday 26 November 2021


Commons deputy speaker Eleanor Laing clashed with Dawn Butler this week after the MP accused a Tory minister of misleading Parliament over Covid contracts.  Of course it is the great irony of Westminster that it is forbidden to make accusations of dishonesty in this place of lies.  After Butler doubled down on her initial choice of words, in a third foray she rephrased them in a manner which Laing accepted.

Click below to watch the exchange in full.

This is not the first time that Butler has tested the Commons chair.  Earlier this year she was ordered from the chamber after accusing Boris Johnson of lying.  Acting deputy speaker Judith Commons (herself a Labour MP) made a martyr of Butler on that occasion (click below for video).

Butler's latest dance with the chair comes a week after Laing was defied repeatedly by Butler's comrade Zarah Sultana.  Despite Sultana refusing point blank to withdraw her remark, Laing chose not to have her removed from the chamber.  The martyrdom of being kicked out of the Commons appears to be well sought after by those on Labour's hard left and there will surely be plenty more attempts to rile the chair during the course of this parliament.