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Commons Speaker wants to introduce yellow cards for rowdy MPs to stop sexist behaviour


THE COMMONS Speaker wants to get a yellow card so he can discipline rowdy MPs, he revealed today.

John Bercow claimed that sexist politicians are getting out of hand as they heckle each other during debates in Parliament.

John Bercow – shown as a football referee – wants a yellow card to brandish at rowdy MPs

He said he would welcome a new system where he can give MPs a formal warning if they go over the top.

Mr Bercow told an audience in Central London that he had tried to make the Commons better-behaved, especially during rowdy Prime Minister’s Questions.

But he admitted: “The record has not been successful. We haven’t really made progress on the subject.”

Asked if he wanted the power to caution MPs with a yellow card, Mr Bercow replied: “I would rather welcome that.

“It would be better if the Speaker had the power to deal with the matter.”

Clashes between the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn often descend into chaos
PA:Press Association

He warned politicians they are “spraypainting our shop window” by barracking each other in high-profile PMQs debates.

Mr Bercow also slammed the “patently absurd” size of the House of Lords, calling for the second chamber to be divided by half.

And he slammed the Tories for refusing to take part in debates on tuition fees and public-sector pay organised by Labour.

John Bercow
The Speaker is desperate to improve the behaviour of MPs
PA:Press Association

The Speaker vowed to confront ministers over the tactic, saying: “Parliamentary votes do matter and I think it would be a very worrying development if that were disregarded.”


He suggested he would allow backbenchers to launch a host of amendments designed to wreck the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Mr Bercow warned: “Nothing is too toxic for Parliament to consider.”

Sexism claims which have led to Bercow's crackdown vow

David Cameron sparked a huge sexism row when he told a female Labour MP “calm down dear” during a debate.

The then-PM borrowed Michael Winner’s catchphrase after being barracked by Angela Eagle in 2011.

He was accused of patronising her because she is a woman – but insisted he was just making a light-hearted joke.

One Labour frontbencher said the incident showed Mr Cameron had an “outdated attitude to women”.

Earlier this year, Tory Nicholas Soames was caught woofing at the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

She asked John Bercow to rebuke him for the “extremely disrespectful” gesture.

Mr Soames apologised and said it was “a friendly canine salute”.

Sarah Champion, a Labour MP, claimed she was shocked by the level of sexism when she entered Parliament in 2012.

She claimed Tory men would make the shape of “bums and breasts” with their hands to try and put off female MPs while they were speaking.

Ms Champion said: “It’s deliberately trying to degrade people, it’s sexist and people ought to be pulled for it.”

Most recently, newly elected Layla Moran was heckled by MPs when she stood up to ask a question.

She said afterwards: “I did think I’d got some rule wrong. Turns out they were jeering for the sake of it.”

Some commentators claimed the incident was evidence of continuing sexism in Parliament.



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