Speaker Lindsay Hoyle loses temper at MP in Commons ‘What did you say?!’
Lindsay Hoyle slams Ellwood for 'taking advantage of chamber'
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Mr Ellwood gave a long winded series of questions during the debate over the fallout of the Aukus deal which has seen the US, UK and Australia shun France from a lucrative nuclear submarine deal. He accused the French of having overreacted over the plans as he set about stressing the importance of the western alliance against China.
He said: “This is to stand up to China’s errant behaviour in the South China Sea, let us not be in denial about that.
“But the timing and the manner of this announcement is not without diplomatic consequence and prompts further questions about the cohesion, purpose and indeed leadership of NATO after a bruised departure from Afghanistan.”
He stressed there is no doubt France has overreacted to the deal and called on the Defence Minister Jeremy Quin to recognise how China cannot be defeated by military means alone.
But speaker Hoyle erupted at what he branded was a “speech” rather than a question from the Conservative MP as a ferocious argument spilt over between the pair in front of shocked MP’s.
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Mr Hoyle told Mr Ellwood he was invited in specifically to answer questions on a topic he was clued up on and that it was not fair for Mr Ellwood to be “abusing his power” during the question session.
But the Conservative MP hit back shouting across the chamber an inaudible remark which sent the Speaker into a fit of rage.
Mr Hoyle hit back spitting with fury, saying: “What did you say!? Do you want to withdraw?!
“I am in charge! I am not trying to abuse my position so don’t abuse yours!”
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The furious clash comes as France continues to rage after Australia tore up a massive €31 billion submarine building contract with the French to pursue the means to produce nuclear submarines with the help of US technology under the new Aukus pact.
It is one of the countries’ biggest defence partnerships in decades, analysts say, but China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it “seriously undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race”.
The scrapping of the deal is a major blow to big promises made by President Macron who told the French following his election that “France is back” alluding to the role the country will play on the world stage.
It comes as France has recalled its diplomats in the USA and Australia as they simmer with rage at the new deal they’ve been left out of.
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France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio the deal snub is “really a stab in the back.”
The new partnership was announced during a joint virtual press conference between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday.
On Thursday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the pact would “preserve security and stability around the world” and generate “hundreds of high-skilled jobs”.
He stressed how the relationship with France was “rock solid” despite the brutal snub.
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