WATCH: Mark Francois praised for giving 'finest speech' in Commons

WATCH: Mark Francois praised for giving 'finest speech' in Commons

Mark Francois strongly defends the Speaker

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 22/02/2024

- 15:02

Hoyle has vowed to soldier on despite a barrage of scrutiny

Conservative MP Mark Francois has been heralded for his speech defending Lindsay Hoyle amid calls to force out the Speaker.

Sir Lindsay irked Tory and SNP MPs after his decisions resulted in no final vote being held on the SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Amendments from both the UK Government and Labour were called, denying the SNP the floor on its opposition day debate.

Hoyle has vowed to soldier on despite a barrage of scrutiny, but he has found support from ERG Chairman Mark Francois.

Mark Francois

Mark Francois says the Speaker's apology should be 'respected'


He told the Commons that the Speaker’s apology should be “respected” by members of the House.

He added: “Speaking purely personally, I well remember everything that the Speaker did to help me and all of us when our great friend, my best friend, was murdered as it happens by an Islamic extremist, who told the trial he did it because of the way David (Amess) had voted in the House of Commons.

“Mr Speaker went the extra mile for all of us to help us all deal with that tragedy, look at that plaque behind me.

“We should put last night right by obviously re-running this debate in Government time. Mr Speaker is a decent man as the leader said, he’s not the villain here.

“We should re-run the debate and he should rightfully be in his place, in that chair, presiding, we are lucky to have him.”

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt concurred with the sentiment put forward, telling MPs there was “nothing to add”.

Keir Starmer

Francois alluded to Starmer in his speech

Lindsay Hoyle

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has issued an apology

GB News

Francois has accrued praise for his comments with Andrew Allison saying he “couldn’t agree more” with the comments made.

Hoyle remains under pressure and has since apologised to the House for his mistake.

The Speaker told the Commons: “I will reiterate I made a judgment call that didn’t end up in the position where I expected it to.

“I regret it. I apologise to the SNP… I apologise and I apologise to the House. I made a mistake. We do make mistakes. I own up to mine.”

His voice faltering, he added: “And it has been said, both sides, I never ever want to go through a situation where I pick up a phone to find a friend, of whatever side, has been murdered by terrorists.”

But SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn told the Speaker he no longer had confidence in him.

He said the debate “descended into farce because of a decision that you made” and that it “ultimately turned into a Labour opposition day”.

“We do not on these benches therefore believe that you can continue in your role as Speaker,” Flynn said, demanding a confidence vote “at the earliest possible occasion”.

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