Commons chaos: Can the Speaker survive a monumental misjudgement?

Parliament Matters

23-02-2024 • 49 mins

There were chaotic scenes in the House of Commons this week - as bad as anything seen during the Brexit convulsions – as the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle made a hash of handling the SNPs Opposition Day debate on a ceasefire in Gaza. Furious MPs signed a motion expressing no confidence in the Chair. But why and how did the Speaker end up in this position and can he survive?


Is it really a big deal or is it just political game-playing? Has a rubicon been crossed if the Speaker contravened the letter and the spirit of the Commons rules to protect MPs and their families from threats and intimidation outside Parliament? And what on earth will the public make of it all?


It's reported in a new biography of Keir Starmer that a future Labour Government would make use of Citizens' Assemblies to help resolve contentious issues. So Mark and Ruth also discuss whether this is just the latest constitutional fad or a useful addition to the public policy process.



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