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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 708: debated on Tuesday 8 February 2022

Before we start today’s business, I want to say something about the disgraceful behaviour yesterday that was directed at the right hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer) and the right hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr Lammy). I deplore the fact that Members of this House were subjected to intimidating and threatening behaviour while simply doing their jobs. I know the whole House will join me in saying that we stand with our colleagues in condemning the behaviour that they and the police experienced.

While I do not comment in detail on security matters on the Floor of the Chamber, steps must be in place to keep passholders secure as they enter and leave the parliamentary estate. I have requested a situation report from the Metropolitan police via our security team on how this incident occurred.

I understand that arrests have been made following yesterday’s incident, so it would not be appropriate to comment in detail. I know it has been reported that some of the abuse directed at the right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Leader of the Opposition, related to claims made by the Prime Minister in this Chamber, but regardless of yesterday’s incident, I made it clear last week that, while the Prime Minister’s words were not disorderly, they were inappropriate. As I said then, these sorts of comments only inflame opinions and generate disregard for the House, and it is not acceptable. Our words have consequences and we should always be mindful of that fact. I will not be taking points of order as we move on to the business.