The extraordinary moment Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle picks up the mace and walks it over the line during proceedings in the House of Commons. The parliamentary mace symbolises royal authority,; without it the House cannot meet or pass laws. Tory MPs could be heard calling for him to expelled and he was asked to withdraw from the chamber immediately
“It was a spur-of-the moment decision. I probably decided a minute or two beforehand.
“It was at that moment where I heard the Government say ‘tomorrow’ [to defer the Brexit debate] – which means never – and everyone shouted ‘no’, literally hundreds of people in that room were shouting ‘no’ and one government whip was overruling hundreds of parliamentarians. And it just amazed me.
HE SAID THE GOVERNMENT’S BEHAVIOUR, IN REFUSING TO GIVE MPS A VOTE ON CANCELLING THE BREXIT VOTE, WAS “DISGRACEFUL” AND “RAN ROUGHSHOD” OVER DEMOCRACY.
“It was clearly a symbolic protest against what the government is doing.”One lifts the mace to demonstrate the government no longer has the mandate to govern.”
He added: “My first intention was to put it down on the floor but then I thought that might cause some damage.”
“Parliament no longer has the authority to govern. And that’s what I feel has happened: if we are not able to vote, what kind of democracy is this?
“Democracy is fundamentally about voting and regularly demonstrating your will. Trying to push this back down to the very last moment means we might never get a meaningful vote. I felt frustrated. And I just felt it was so undemocratic.
“It might well be within the rules – but clearly it was not the will of the House, not the will of the country, not the will of Parliamentarians. And I felt I had to just lodge my protest.
“So I lifted the mace. I originally intended to just put it on the floor or something. I was worried that might damage it so I then turned around, walked out with it and handed it over to the security – the men and women in tights.
“And they then escorted to me out of the building. I’m not allowed to go back until tomorrow. I have a day’s pay docked. But if helps highlight what the government has done even further, a day’s pay is worth it…
“Thankfully I’m not in the Tower of London. But if I were I’d expect Theresa May to be in the cell next to me. The reality is, what they have done for this country is morally criminal. Not legally. But morally criminal. And so they can protest all they like. The people, I hope, will see through it.”
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