Grossly disorderly conduct
21.45To prevent any Member being taken unawares, it is usual for the Speaker or the Chairman repeatedly to warn any Member who may be transgressing the rules of debate or otherwise behaving in a disorderly manner, before ordering them to withdraw from the House or naming them. When, however, a Member persists in disorderly conduct or behaves in a grossly disorderly manner, the Speaker is enjoined by Standing Order No 43 either: (i) forthwith to order them to withdraw from the House for the remainder of the sitting,1 or (ii) if the authority and dignity of the House would not be sufficiently vindicated by excluding the offender from the House for the remainder of the sitting, to name them.2 If a Member who has been ordered to withdraw from the House does not immediately obey, the Speaker or Chairman may either direct the Serjeant at Arms to remove them,3 or name the Member to the House.4
A Member who behaved in a grossly disorderly fashion by attempting to make a speech during prayers was directed by the Speaker to withdraw. When the Member declined to comply with the Speaker's direction, he was named for disregarding the authority of the Chair.5
When attention was drawn to the fact that a Member who had been directed to withdraw from the House had not withdrawn, the Chair reminded the Member of the direction that had been given to him, and on the Member's refusing to withdraw, named him for disregarding the authority of the Chair.6
After the Prime Minister had replied to a question, a Member left his seat below the gangway, and, walking to the end of the ministerial bench above the gangway, addressed the Prime Minister in grossly discourteous terms; whereupon the Speaker at once ordered him to withdraw from the House.7
A Member who used insulting language to the Chairman during the progress of a division was ordered to withdraw.8
Again, a Member who used insulting language to the Speaker from beyond the Bar, and a Member who seized the Mace and carried it away from the Table, have been named for grossly disorderly conduct.9
- 1. CJ (1932–33) 68; HC Deb (1989–90) 175, c 992; ibid (1994–95) 259, c 575; ibid (26 February 2008) 472, cc 922–25; ibid (10 July 2013) 566, cc 392–93; Votes and Proceedings, 10 December 2018 (a Member who carried the Mace away from the Table in protest against the Government's decision to defer an order of the day).
- 2. CJ (1935–36) 341, 342; HC Deb (1980–81) 2, c 950. For a warning before a Member was named, ibid (23 July 2007) 463, cc 623, 626–27.
- 3. CJ (1896) 242; ibid (1897) 265; ibid (1900) 380; Parl Deb (1900) 87, cc 523–26; HC Deb (1979–80) 987, cc 216–18.
- 4. CJ (1923) 156, 237; ibid (1927) 218, 340–41; ibid (1993–94) 25.
- 5. CJ (1987–88) 235. It was necessary for the Speaker to take the Chair for this proceeding, and a division took place. The Speaker then left the Chair and Prayers were said.
- 6. CJ (1913) 37; HC Deb (1913) 50, c 1695.
- 7. HC Deb (1912–13) 40, cc 217–19.
- 8. CJ (1900) 380.
- 9. HC Deb (1937–38) 328, c 1773; ibid (1929–30) 241, c 1465. See also ibid (1975–76) 912, cc 767–69.