Boost For Lindsay Hoyle As James Cleverly Backs Him To Stay On As Commons Speaker

The home secretary said he had been "a breath of fresh air".
James Cleverly has given Lindsay Hoyle his backing.
James Cleverly has given Lindsay Hoyle his backing.
Jonathan Brady - PA Images via Getty Images

James Cleverly has given his backing to Lindsay Hoyle as the Speaker fights to remain in post.

The home secretary Hoyle had been “a breath of fresh air” since taking over from his predecessor, John Bercow.

His comments are a major boost to the Speaker, who has been under growing pressure over his handling of Wednesday’s chaotic Commons debate on Gaza.

Hoyle was forced to apologise for controversially accepting a Labour amendment to an SNP opposition day motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the war between Israel and Gaza.

The Speaker said he had done so due to concerns over threats to MPs from pro-Palestinian campaigners, but critics accused him of showing pro-Labour bias.

A total of 67 Tory and SNP MPs have so far signed a motion of no confidence in Hoyle amid calls for him to go.

But on Sky News this morning, Cleverly insisted Hoyle still had his backing.

He said: “I think the Speaker’s done a fantastic job, I think he’s been a breath of fresh air compared with his predecessor.

“He made a mistake, he’s apologised for the mistake. My view is that I am supportive of him. But ultimately, the selection of the Speaker is business for parliament rather than for government.”

However, Cleverly did criticise Hoyle’s decision to upend parliamentary procedure because of concerns over threats to MPs.

He said: “Elected officials have got to act without fear or favour. They need to be defended, and we’re absolutely determined to do that.

“We should not be changing our procedures in response to threats or intimidation. That would indicate that the threats and the intimidation is working. That’s the opposite of the message that we want to send.”


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