Gallowatch: It's unheard of. My MP has actually spoken in Parliament! George Galloway uttered more words in a single debate this week than in all the other debates since the 2005 General Election put together. But maybe that's because the debate was about a very special subject - himself.
Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House— (i) approves the Sixth Report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges (House of Commons Paper No. 909); and (ii) accordingly suspends Mr George Galloway, Member for Bethnal Green and Bow, from the service of the House from Monday 8th October for a period of eighteen sitting days;
George kicked off his speech by lambasting political double standards. To make his point he decided to launch into an attack on one of the Labour Party's less salubrious financial donors. Ouch. It's amazing what language an MP can get away with saying in Parliament if they're brazen enough. I bet you never expected to hear the following on the floor of the House of Commons...
George Galloway (Bethnal Green & Bow, Respect): Did the treasurer of the Labour party ask Richard Desmond from which part of his considerable wealth he was donating handsomely to new Labour's coffers? Did the treasurer of the Labour party — I apologise to the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) for the language that I am about to use — ask if Mr. Desmond was giving from the profits of "Spunk-Loving Sluts", "Asian Babes", XXX pornographic television, or the profits of the Daily Star— Michael Martin (Speaker): Order.
I've quoted direct from Hansard there. And I've tried to protect sensitive website readers from George's most obscene phrase by hiding it behind the grey strip using mouseover text. Isn't my MP a charmer? Always one to get noticed, always one to deflect attention, always one to namedrop dodgy girlie pornflicks in Parliament. After this unusual outburst the debate continued... or at least attempted to continue, because George kept saying things which the Speaker found inappropriate. Not rude this time, but casting aspersions on members of the Select Committee that indicted him, and in Parliament such talk is wholly unacceptable.
George Galloway (Bethnal Green & Bow, Respect): I am sorry that those things are causing you difficulties, Mr. Speaker, but I am now 18 minutes into my speech and have barely been able to get started with the critique that I want to make of the way in which I have been treated. I am, after all, being excluded from Parliament. It is not a small thing. I am, after all, about to face the situation in which my constituents' Member of Parliament is banished from the building — a building in which I have sat for 20 years. I really would like to explain why I believe that I have been treated unjustly.
George Galloway (Bethnal Green & Bow, Respect): We are now getting to the stage where you are going to have to throw me out of Parliament prematurely because — The hon. Member, having wilfully disregarded the authority of the Chair, was named by Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order No. 43 (Disorderly conduct).
"Naming" an MP in the House is one of the most serious things the Speaker can do, and so George was duly ejected from the Commons... during a debate about whether he should be suspended from the Commons. Case proven. Not surprisingly, the motion was duly "put and agreed to". Galloway's out. So, as MPs break up this week until October, my local MP is on a hiatus 18 days longer than the rest of them. I don't think anybody will miss him. And that's left me and my fellow constituents essentially disenfranchised until November. Maybe I should ring up TalkSport and complain.