Speaker of the Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle flew into a rage this morning, asking a senior minister: “Who do you think you’re speaking to?”
The row was sparked after a seemingly major change to Government Brexit policy wasn’t proactively announced to the Commons, and Secretary of State Kemi Badenoch was instead forced to the dispatch box via an Urgent Question.
Sir Lindsay told the House: “I know it is highly regrettable that the Government decided not to offer an oral statement on this matter yesterday, given the importance of this announcement”.
“On such matters, full engagement with Parliament and its committees is essential.”
“I will remind the Government that we are elected to hear it first, not to read it in the Telegraph, and a Written Ministerial Statement is certainly not satisfactory for such an important matter.”
Responding to Sir Lindsay’s objections, Mrs Badenoch said she was “very sorry that the sequencing that we chose was not to your satisfaction”.
This comment caused the Speaker to fly off in a rage, sitting the Secretary of State down and demanding to know “Who do you think you’re speaking to?”
“That is totally not acceptable! Who do you think you’re speaking to, Secretary of State? I think we need to understand each other.
“I am the defender of this house and these benches on both sides, I am not going to be spoken to by a Secretary of State who is absolutely not accepting my ruling.
“Take it with good grace and accept it.”