A Labour MP has been thrown out the House of Commons after picking up the ceremonial mace in protest at the Government’s handling of Brexit.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton Kemptown) held the mace aloft and marched towards the Commons doors where he was stopped by officials.
He handed over the mace without incident but faced angry shouts from Tory MPs who cried “expel him” as Speaker John Bercow rose to his feet.
Mr Bercow, under parliamentary rules, ordered Mr Russell-Moyle to leave the chamber for “the remainder of the day”.
He said: “By the power given to me by standing order number 43 and I think (Mr Russell-Moyle) will know the implication of his action, I must order (Mr Russell-Moyle) to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of this day’s sitting. Mr Russell-Moyle please leave the chamber.”
Mr Russell-Moyle initially refused the order and remained in the House before Mr Bercow said: “No, no he must leave or be escorted, he should leave” — at which he left.
The mace is the symbol of royal authority and without it neither the Commons or Lords can meet or pass laws.
Mr Russell-Moyle’s actions came after Theresa May delayed the Brexit deal vote, something he vocally opposed in earlier exchanges.
The last time the mace was taken from its place was in 2009 by now shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
Mr McDonnell was suspended from the Commons for five days grabbing the mace in protest at the Government’s decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow.
In 1976 former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine was also reprimanded for picking up the ceremonial mace.
As a young Tory MP Mr Heseltine swung the mace in fury at the then Labour government’s decision to breach pairing arrangements and force through a measure by one vote.