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‘Hopeless’ MP could rehearse how to ask questions over Christmas – John Bercow

Nigel Evans, a deputy speaker between June 2010 and September 2013, could be heard shouting: “Absolutely ridiculous.”

John Bercow has labelled one of his former deputies “hopeless” during a Commons squabble.

The Speaker suggested Conservative Nigel Evans could “rehearse” how to ask questions over Christmas after being ruled out of order.

Mr Evans (Ribble Valley) opened his enquiry to Prime Minister Theresa May by noting he was confused over Labour’s Brexit policy.

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Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans (PA)

This was interpreted as being a question about the Opposition’s policy by Mr Bercow, something which the Government is not responsible for and MPs are advised against asking.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Evans said: “I can be a little slow at times, but I’m finding it incredibly difficult to discern what the policy of Her Majesty’s Opposition is to Brexit as it changes depending on…”

Mr Bercow intervened, telling Mr Evans: “The honourable gentleman is a very experienced member of the House, I didn’t think he was that slow.

“He knows perfectly well the policy of the Opposition is not a matter for the Government of the day. No, no, no, no, no, hopeless.”

Mr Evans, a deputy speaker between June 2010 and September 2013, could be heard shouting: “Absolutely ridiculous.”

Mr Bercow replied: “Order! Order! I told the honourable gentleman, don’t shake your head at me, Mr Evans.

“I’ve told you what the position is. Order! You ask an orderly question or you don’t ask a question.

“Order! You ought to know after your long experience better than to start a question enquiring about the policy of the Opposition.

“Over Christmas you can rehearse.”

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