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Watch: MPs hold protest during prorogation ceremony ahead of parliament shutdown

MPs hold protest in the Commons.
MPs hold protest in the Commons.
Speaker John Bercow
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

A group of MPs held a brief protest during the prorogation ceremony in the Houses of Parliament.

A group of Labour MPs held up signs with "silenced" written on them, with one trying to hold on to Speaker John Bercow, as MPs were requested to take part in the prorogation ceremony.

Referring to the lengthly suspension, the Speaker, John Bercow, says this prorogation is "not a standard or normal prorogation".

He said it was the longest for decades sparking an outcry from the government benches.

Mr Bercow - who announced his decision to stand down - said the prorogation represented "an act of executive fiat".

As MPs left for the Lords there were calls of "shame on you" from some MPs.

Traditionally all MPs proceed  into the Lords for the ceremony, but most of those on the opposition benches did not move from their seats.

Mr Bercow has previously voiced his outrage at the prorogation describing it a "constitutional outrage".

Referring to the protest against prorogation taking place in the Commons by some MPs, The Speaker said:  "I recognise that our presence is desired by our Majesty the Queen's Commissioners. They are doing what they believe to be right and I recognise my role in this matter."

Mr Bercow added: "I'm perfectly happy to play my part, but I do want to make the point that this is not a standard or normal prorogation."

The Speaker continued: "It's one of the longest for decades and it represents an act of executive fiat."

Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) shouted at the Speaker and left the Chamber.

In response, the Speaker said: "I don't care if you don't like it. I require no response from you young man. I require no response from you. Get out man, you will not be missed."

While a ceremony was conducted in the Lords, those MPs that remained in the Commons broke out into song.

SNP MPs began singing 'Scots Wha Hae' - considered by the party to be the alternative national anthem - on the Commons benches.

Labour MPs also sang the Red Flag before SNP MP Gavin Newlands jokingly appealed to Conservative MPs to sing - with no response.

A sing-off followed with Labour MPs singing Jerusalem while the SNP sang Flower of Scotland.

Parliament was later prorogued until October 14.

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