Tory Minister Refuses To Say She Still Has 'Confidence" In Lindsay Hoyle

Maria Caulfield said she would "struggle" to support the under-fire Commons Speaker.
Maria Caulfield made her comments as she was interviewed by Kay Burley.
Maria Caulfield made her comments as she was interviewed by Kay Burley.
Sky News

Pressure is mounting on Lindsay Hoyle after a government minister said she would “struggle” to support him remaining as Commons Speaker.

Hoyle sparked fury yesterday over his handling of a debate on the war in Gaza.

He 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.

Fifty Tory and SNP MPs have signed a motion of confidence in Hoyle, who was forced to come to the Commons to apologise for his actions, with the number expected to rise.

On Sky News this morning, health minister Maria Caulfield refused to give the Speaker her backing to stay in the post.

Asked by presenter Kay Burley if Hoyle’s position was “untenable”, Caulfield said: “I think his position is difficult ... I think it’s crucial the Speaker of the House is impartial, particularly if they’re seen to be siding with their own natural political party.”

She said the Speaker must “come clean” about what discussions he had with Labour bosses before making his controversial decision.

Burley then asked the minister: “Would you support him going forward?”

Caulfield replied: “I voted for Lindsay to become Speaker of the House of Commons [but] it has dented my confidence in Lindsay.

“He’s generally very fair, he’s very good at making sure backbenchers get in and he’s normally a very fair Speaker.

“His actions yesterday were very different from how he normally conducts matters in the House.”

Asked if she wanted him to step down, Caulfield said: “I have got concerns, but it’s for the House and individual MPs to decide.

“I am disappointed in his actions, there’s no doubt about it.

“I would struggle now to support him, but let’s see what happens in the next 24/48 hours. He knows he did wrong, he’s apologised and let’s see what he proposes to fix the situation.”

Amid chaotic scenes in the Commons last night, MPs eventually approved the Labour amendment calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the war.

Hoyle will today meet with Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, as well as senior figures from both the SNP and Labour as he fights to keep his job.

One government minister told HuffPost UK: “The Speaker will not survive. The no confidence motion will get support. He doesn’t have long. MPs are livid.”

A former cabinet minister said Hoyle’s position was “in the balance”.

Another senior Tory MP said: “He previously had a lot of support and respect but recently has been annoying a lot of MPs. This will tip a number of them over, when a year ago they may have accepted his apology.”


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