Senior Labour MP Chris Bryant has denied telling House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to ‘f*** off’ in an extraordinary row over social distancing rules yesterday.
Mr Bryant, who is the MP for Rhondda in Wales and Chair of the Commons Select Committee on Standards, is thought to have made the remark after being rebuked by Sir Lindsay for standing too close to others in the chamber.
The spat between the two men interrupted Boris Johnson while he was answering questions at PMQs yesterday.
Sir Lindsay and Mr Bryant are thought to be long-standing foes, with the Labour MP finishing runner-up to the Speaker in the battle to replace John Bercow last year.
Yesterday’s row seemed to begin after Sir Lindsay took exception to Mr Bryant’s ‘chuntering’ during the Prime Minister’s address.
An MP who witnessed it told The Sun: ‘He was standing in the doorway at the back of the Labour benches and chuntering.
‘The Speaker told him to be quiet and then said he should not be positioned there as he was too close to others who were sitting in allocated seats.
‘Bryant disputed this and the Speaker insisted he move, to which he threw his hand in the air and said, ‘Oh f*** off’.’
Sir Lindsay furiously shouted in response: ‘We’re not having that disgraceful behaviour.’
Another MP also claimed Mr Bryant swore while a Tory MP, who said they witnessed the exchange, added: ‘It’s pathetic. I understand there has been a long-standing issue between them.’
Mr Bryant told the MailOnline he did not swear at the Speaker.
He said: ‘I’m not really commenting as I don’t want to inflame things, but I can state categorically that I did not swear either at the PM or at the Speaker.’
The Speaker’s office has been contacted for comment.
Labour MP Chris Bryant reportedly swore at Speaker Lindsay Hoyle – though he denies making the comment
Sir Lindsay furiously rebuked the Labour MP. The two are thought to be long-term rivals with Sir Lindsay defeating Mr Bryant in the battle for the Speaker’s chair
Yesterday’s row seemed to begin after Sir Lindsay took exception to Mr Bryant’s ‘chuntering’ during the Prime Minister’s address and told him to stop standing so close to other members
The exchange came amid a busy day in the Commons, with the Prime Minister fielding questions on the Brexit negotiations.
Sir Lindsay said later that the House of Commons could sit as late as Christmas Eve should it be required to pass a Brexit bill.
Under current plans, the Commons will stop sitting on December 21, but he told Sky News recess could be delayed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen agreed that a ‘firm decision’ about the future of the negotiations should be made by Sunday following three hours of talks in Brussels.
The transition period finishes on December 31 and any deal would have to be ratified by the European Council, the European Parliament and Westminster.
Sir Linsday told the broadcaster: ‘I would like to believe that we will all be going up on the date that’s expected of the House.
‘But if needs be, the House is the servant and I am happy as being that servant to ensure we can run, as far as I’m concerned, even up to Christmas Eve.
The exchange came amid a busy day in the Commons, with the Prime Minister fielding questions on the Brexit negotiations
‘I would like to believe we can finish on the Monday before Christmas. I would like to put everything to bed and get everybody away from here.’
Britain is teetering on the brink of no deal Brexit after Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen set a final deadline of Sunday for a breakthrough and warned that ‘very large’ gaps remain.
The PM and the EU chief took stock of the dire situation for more than three hours as they ate steamed turbot and scallops – the source of many skirmishes between UK and French fishing boats – at the commission’s HQ in Brussels last night.
But the pair failed to find a way through the impasse that has left trade talks on the verge of collapse, a year after Britain formally left the bloc.
Instead they are ordering Michel Barnier and Lord Frost to re-engage, on the understanding that unless a resolution has emerged within four days the plug will be pulled. However, it is not clear if they have been given any new political instructions – thought to be critical to shift the deadlock.
Government sources confirmed that Lord Frost and Mr Barnier will resume talks in the Belgian capital today in a bid to resolve the outstanding issues.