Speaker Blasts Government Over Supposed Reluctance 'To Be Held Accountable'

"You can’t carry on in this manner, taking this house for granted."

Sir Lindsay Hoyle let loose on the Conservative government in the Commons on Wednesday, accusing ministers of “taking this House for granted”.

Hoyle, who as Speaker of the House has to be impartial in his role, shouted at the Conservatives because of their apparent refusal to be held accountable by their peers in the Commons.

It appears the speaker’s frustration peaked when justice minister Damian Hinds was about to make a statement on the inmate capacity of UK prisons, after the government had just asked the police to use 400 cells for prisoners.

Hoyle explained: “At 12.59, it’s not acceptable to get a copy of the statement, either to the Opposition or myself.

“I’ve got to say, this isn’t the first time.”

Hoyle has previously expressed his frustration at the government’s attempts to leak potential proposals to the media before revealing them in the Commons, thereby avoiding scrutiny from the opposite benches.

Hoyle continued: “This seems to be a continuous problem of government that somehow they don’t like to be held accountable.

“By not giving that statement, we ensure that you cannot take accountable measures that is needed by the opposition.

“And I’m saying to the whips – and the front bench – get your act together, because you can’t carry on in this manner, taking this house for granted.”

Getting more heated, Hoyle shouted: “It will not happen, and it’s time ministers were more accountable.”

Justice minister Damian Hinds was quickly on his feet saying sorry.

”May I open with a sincere apology to what you have just referred to,” Hinds said. “The way timings have worked out today, we got this wrong and I apologise for it.

“I assure you, the Opposition, that was not deliberate. I appreciate that doesn’t help, in the practicalities of it.

“I just wanted to assure you and the front bench opposite, this was not a deliberate move upon our part.”

But even away from parliament, the Tories have come under fire for avoiding the public gaze.

Some journalists were reportedly banned from various hustings during the summer leadership contest, and ministers have skipped the morning media rounds in recent months even as the economic crisis worsens.

Earlier in November, Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid claimed she had heard prime minister Rishi Sunak had discouraged his ministers from speaking the media on a daily basis.

Speaking to immigration minister Robert Jenrick, she said: “I think if you’re going to argue for full accountability – reducing the number of interviews doesn’t fulfil that remit.”


What's Hot