Starmer DENIES threatening Hoyle but said he 'urged' Speaker to have a broader debate

Starmer DENIES threatening Hoyle but said he 'urged' Speaker to have a broader debate
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 22/02/2024

- 13:24

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has denied that he and the party 'threatened' Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle ahead of his decision to add Labour's amendment on a Gaza ceasefire.

Speaking to the media, Keir Starmer said he "absolutely did not" threaten or warn the Speaker about a loss of Labour support if the amendment didn't go ahead, but admitted he "urged" Hoyle to host a "broader debate" on the issue.

Starmer said: "I wanted that amendment put before Parliament because I wanted to ensure it was a good debate, that we have the widest possible options.

"And of course there were discussions with the Speaker. But many, you know, all party leaders speak to speak to the Speaker. But there was absolutely no threat to the Speaker in the course of that. What he wanted to do was to ensure that Parliament had the broadest possible debate on an issue which is really very, very important."

He continued: "I simply urged the Speaker to ensure that the debate could be as broad as possible and that MPs could vote for the proposition that they believe in. We're talking here about whether there was one amendment or two amendments before Parliament.

"The real issue, the real issue, is to have that proper debate. And that didn't happen because the SNP walked off, because all they were interested in doing was dividing the Labour Party."


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