Stephen Flynn Tells Lindsay Hoyle He Wants Him Ousted As Speaker After Gaza Vote 'Farce'

The SNP chief said his position was "untenable" following last night's Commons chaos.
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Lindsay Hoyle’s position as Commons Speaker is “untenable” and he should be dumped by MPs, Stephen Flynn has declared.

The SNP’s Westminster leader told Hoyle he was responsible for the “farce” which took place in the Commons last night following a debate on the war in Gaza.

Hoyle has faced accusations of bias after controversially selecting a Labour amendment to an SNP opposition day motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the war between Israel and Hamas.

That had the effect of preventing what was expected to be a major rebellion by Labour MPs who had planned to vote with the SNP.

Some 59 Tory and SNP MPs have signed a motion of no confidence in the Speaker, who was forced to come to the Commons to apologise amid chaotic scenes last night.

Hoyle was back in his chair today and was told directly by Flynn that he should go.

He said: “As I have expressed to you privately prior to proceedings here today, we do not on these benches believe that you can continue in your role as Speaker.

“We do not have confidence in your ability to do so.”

Flynn told Hoyle that a vote of no confidence in him should be held “at the earliest possible occasion”.

Speaking to Sky News later, the SNP chief said: “I absolutely do think that Lindsay Hoyle’s position is untenable and I wish we weren’t in this position.

“I have a lot of respect for Lindsay, but ultimately he made a decision yesterday which was politically partisan and he cannot continue in his role as a neutral chair of the House of Commons.”

As he fought a rearguard action to cling on to his position, Hoyle repeated his apology for his decision.

“I regret it, I apologise to the SNP, and to the House,” he told the Commons. “I made a mistake - we do make mistakes, I own up to mine.”

Hoyle insisted he had done so to protect MPs who faced a backlash from pro-Palestine campaigners if they failed to vote for a ceasefire.

He said: “I have a duty of care, and if my mistake is looking after members, I am guilty.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer has also “categorically” denied threatening Hoyle in the run-up to Wednesday’s Commons debate.

It has been reported by the BBC and Sky News that Labour warned Hoyle he could be replaced as Speaker after the election if he did not pick the party’s amendment.

But speaking in Sussex on Thursday, Starmer denied he had dangled Hoyle’s job in front of him to get his way.

“I can categorically tell you that I did not threaten the Speaker in any way whatsoever,” the Labour leader said.

“I simply urged to ensure that we have the broadest possible debate.

“So that actually the most important thing , which is what do we do about the situation in Gaza, could be properly discussed by MPs with a number of options in front of them.”


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