Diane Abbott was humiliated by Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow today after he told her to basically STOP WAFFLING and get to the point.
Abbott was beginning to get heckled from various corners of the House by MPs who were growing tired of her long-winded response to a statement by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd about measures to tackle terrorism.
As is customary in Parliament, Bercow intervened at that point to restore order, and he also used the opportunity to tell Abbott that she was taking too much time.
Perhaps she was just playing for time while she went through some figures in her head. Who knows.
Bercow snapped: Raising from his seat to address the Commons and ushering Ms Abbott to sit down, the Speaker said: “Order, Order. Can I just say at this very early stage of the parliament say something that is quite important for future reference?
“There are time limits for questioning on statements, in the last parliament they were very substantially disregarded – and that cannot happen in this parliament because it’s not fair to backbenchers, that is the first point.
“The second point, and forgive me because the Honourable Lady is extraordinarily articulate and very experienced, but it’s a point opposition spokespersons just don’t seem to understand.
“In responding to a statement, we’re not looking for or expecting to hear a counter-statement. What the Chair is looking to hear is a very, very brief response followed by a series of questions, and that is the character of the response.
“On this occasion, I will allow the Honourable Lady to finish, but I hope she will be sensitive to quite a widespread feeling in the house she is approaching her peroration.
“Thereafter, we must observe those limits. If they are not observed, very regretfully, I will have to asked the spokesperson concerned to resume his or her seat.”
That last paragraph is awesome. He is basically saying ‘keep it brief or sit the f**k down.’
As the kids would say these days … ha ha!