West Lothian MP captures moment MPs sang in Commons in proroguing protest

OPPOSITION MPs sang in the House of Commons as they staged a late protest against the proroguing of parliament into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 8:39 am
Livingston MP Hannah Bardell captured the moment from the Commons in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Footage captured from inside the chamber by West Lothian MP Hannah Bardell shows members singing a rendition of 'Scots Wha Hae' from the SNP benches when speaker John Bercow left the chamber to begin the prorogation process.

It came just hours after Bercow announced he would be stepping down from the role on October 31 on another dramatic day in parliament.

Earlier in the day, the speaker had expressed his anger at proceedings, describing the prorogation as "not normal" and "an act of executive fiat".

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In a fiery chamber, opposition members held up signs bearing the message 'silenced' around the speaker's chair, with Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle appearing to try to hold on to Bercow at the point he was requested to lead MPs to the Lords as part of the prorogation proceedings.

The prorogation, suspending Parliament for five weeks and ending the longest parliamentary session in UK history, makes a general election extremely unlikely until at least mid-November.

As Tory MPs followed the speaker out of the chamber to go to the House of Lords, in keeping with the suspension process, opposition MPs shouted: “Shame on you” and "disgraceful," before refusing to take part in the prorogation ceremony.

MPs voted 293 to 46, short of the two-thirds majority needed, in favour of a snap election.

Labour members held up signs reading 'silenced' as speaker John Bercow left the chamber. Pic: @JoStevensLabour

However, opposition parties including the SNP, Labour and Plaid Cymru remained in the chamber long after the ruling Tories departed the commons, some taking part in a musical protest against the decision.

From the SNP benches, members sang the traditional Scots song, written by Rabbie Burns in 1793, while Welsh MPs joined together to sing Bread of Heaven.

Some members then participated in renditions of the Red Flag and Jerusalem.

When Bercow eventually returned to the Commons to confirm the prorogation, only a handful of Conservative MPs remained while the opposition benches were packed.

Opposition MPs lined up to shake Bercow’s hand when parliament eventually wrapped at 2am.