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'Put it back!': Labour MP ejected from House of Commons after taking ceremonial mace

The protest came after a crucial Brexit vote was postponed.

A LABOUR MP has been ejected from the House of Commons after picking up a ceremonial mace in a “symbolic protest” following the postponement of a vote on the proposed Brexit deal.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle picked up the mace and walked towards the doors before being stopped by officials.

He handed over the mace without incident but Conservative Party MPs called for him to be expelled. 

Speaker of the House John Bercow ordered Russell-Moyle to leave the chamber for the remainder of the day.

Speaking after the incident, the MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven said: “Thankfully they haven’t locked me in the Tower of London but if they had I’d expect [Prime Minister Theresa] May to be in the cell next to me for her treatment of Parliament today.

I’m allowed back tomorrow after my symbolic protest against this government, wish May wasn’t allowed back.

The mace symbolises royal authority, without which the House cannot meet or pass laws. 

Postponed vote 

Earlier today May confirmed she was postponing tomorrow’s crucial House of Commons vote on the Brexit deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for certain changes to be made.

May admitted the current agreement “would be rejected by a significant margin” but stated: “I’m in absolutely no doubt that this deal is the right one.”

One of the main sticking points is the proposed backstop arrangement. This aims to avoid a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland and could see the North stay aligned to some EU rules.

In heated cross-party exchanges, May was accused of “pathetic cowardice” for postponing the vote. When she said there is “broad support” for many of the key aspects of the deal, laughter erupted in the chamber.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar both said the draft Withdrawal Agreement struck between the European Union and Britain cannot be renegotiated.

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Órla Ryan

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