How to get thrown out of the House of Commons

Most people would do their upmost to get a sitting in the House of Commons but on occasion some MPs are only too glad to relinquish it. Dennis Skinner, the MP for Bolsover, was happy to do so on Monday as he accuses David Cameron of being ‘dodgy’ over his financial dealings.

DS: I didn’t receive a proper answer then
    maybe (.) dodgy Dave will answer it now
Chamber: ((noise))
DS: and by the way


External link to clip

As the chamber erupted, the Speaker (SP) called the house to ‘order’.

SP: order or or or order
DS: and by the way
SP: or or (.) order or or or or order
    order order I orDE:::R
Chamber: ((‘chuck him out’))
SP: order
Chamber: ((‘chuck him out’))
SP: I must ask the honourable gentleman order
Chamber: ((single comment))
SP: I don’t require any assistant 
    from some junior minister
    absurd proposition
Chamber: ((surprise and some laughter))

The Speaker then invited Dennis Skinner to withdraw the word ‘dodgy’ as it is considered unparliamentarily.

SP: I invite (.) order (.)
    I invite the honourable gentleman
    to withdraw that adjective
    that he used a moment ago
    he’s perfectly c- order
    he’s perfectly capable
    of asking his question
    without using that word (.)
    it is up to him
    but if he doesn’t wish to withdraw it
    I can’t (.) reasonably
    ask the prime minister
    to answer the question
    all he has to do
    is withdraw that word
    and think of another
Chamber: ((comment and laughter))
SP: sorry? (.) sorry?
Chamber: ((noise continues))
SP: I think he knows the word
    beginning with D and ending in Y
    that he inappropriately used
Chamber: ((comments ‘davy’))
SP: withdraw

Skinner however was in no way ready to withdraw his epitaph for the Prime Minister ‘dodgy Dave’ which he has used before. He continued and used the phrase again.

DS: I know I know (what you say)
SP: very simple (.) withdraw
DS: this man has done more
Chamber: ((noise rises))
DS: to divide this nation
    than anybody else
    he’s looked after his own pocket
    I still refer to him (.) as dodgy dave
Chamber: ((some cheers much noise))
DS: do what you like

The Speaker gave him a second chance to withdraw the word.

SP: or- order order order order
    I’m sorry (.) I must ask
    the honourable gentleman
    to withdraw the wor- (1.0)
Chamber: ((noise continues))

Sensing however that Skinner was in no mood for withdrawing his epitaph he referred to Standing Order no. 43:

43. Disorderly Conduct

The Speaker, or the chairman, shall order any Member or Members whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the House during the remainder of that day’s sitting; and the Serjeant at Arms shall act on such orders as he may receive from the chair in pursuance of this order.

It is noticeable how the chamber quietened to listen to the order as they realised Skinner was to be ejected from the chamber.

SP: very well (2.0) very well
Chamber: ((noise & comments ‘sshh’))
SP: under the power
    given to me
    by standing order
    number forty three
    (2.0)((chamber quietens))
    I order the honourable member
    to withdraw immediately
    from the house
    for the remainder
    of this day’s sitting

Rather than wait for the Serjeant (sic) at Arms throw him out, Skinner walked slowly out of the chamber without fuss. Presumably he felt he had made his point.

Chamber: ((DS walks out of chamber))
    ((noise and comments ‘he’s used to this’))
SP: very well
    needless to say
    no reply is required
    to that (.) question

Skinner walks out of the chamber


As I have said before, it is often not what is said but the reaction to what is said in the chamber that gains the headlines in the media. This was Skinner at his masterly best – he knew he would be kicked out but knew that this would draw attention to his words and he now seems to have gained some fans in the USA for his language style.

Some words that are considered unparliamentarily:

Blackguard, Coward, Git, Guttersnipe, Hooligan, Hypocrite, Idiot, Ignoramus, Rat, Swine, Stoolpigeon, Tart, Traitor, Sod, Wart

House of Commons – Monday 11th April 2016

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