MPs scuffled at the doorway and had to be escorted out by security. One MP even vaulted themselves at the chair of outgoing House Speaker John Bercow.
Meanwhile, the less melodramatic among them merely held up signs reading ‘silenced’ in protest at the five-week closure announced by UK prime minister. Bercow also railed against the ‘proroguing’ or suspension of parliament.
Labour’s Lloyd Russell-Moyle, 35, threw himself at Bercow’s chair. When Bercow later left the chamber and made his way to the House of Lords, he left his own ‘silenced’ sign in his vacant seat.
Opposition MPs even engaged in a protest singalong, refusing to leave the chamber in opposition to what they perceive as a bastardization of British democracy.
The bizarre scenes unfolded at roughly 1:30am British time, after a marathon day in which MPs successfully blocked Johnson’s second bid for a snap general election.
“I will play my part but this is not a normal prorogation, it is not typical, it is not standard. It is one of the longest for decades. And it represents, not just in the minds of many colleagues but huge numbers of people outside, an act of executive fiat… but I will play my part,” Bercow told the new Black Rod Sarah Clarke, essentially a messenger from the House of Lords, who entered the chamber to summon Bercow and the MPs through the lobby to the upper house.
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