Is this any way to treat a work colleague? Layla Moran jeered as she questions PM about childcare

Layla Moran became the first of the Lib Dem newbie MPs to question the PM today. She asked a very reasonable question on underfunding of childcare and was met with the usual boorish jeering from Conservative MPs.

Layla took it all in good spirit as she retweeted an article in The Independent which commented on their behaviour.

There are now 208 women in the Commons, more than ever before. Yet instead of focusing on the barracking and bullying of women MPs in this instance, Bercow instead chose to convince his colleagues why Moran was worth listening to.

Imagine if Bercow had jumped to the defence of a male MP. “He has deplorable views but excellent manners so Jacob Rees-Mogg will be heard!”, or, “He actually remembered his briefing today so Boris Johnson please ask your question!”

It’s not necessarily a misogyny thing, though. Julian Huppert scored for this sort of treatment every time he got up. The Tories clearly take exception to clever Lib Dem scientists.

It’s high time Bercow got serious with the jeerers. As I have said many times before, he should just throw them out. Their behaviour would shame a nursery.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • I’m still disgusted by the childish behaviour still seen in parliament. How on earth true democracy (something this country is without) can actually function when this is how the ‘people in charge’ are acting, is beyond me.

  • Brian Evans 7th Sep '17 - 8:52am

    I confess, I didn’t notice the jeering … it’s become so commonplace! What caught me was the complete refusal by TM to answer the question, instead spouting a prepared list of ‘what we have done about this, what we have spent on this’. It was barely comprehensible … indeed, TM herself seemed not quite sure of what she was reading. Layla’s question was totally unnecessary. She could have simply waved a flag saying ‘child care’.

    As ever, a sincere concern expressed by a hard-working constituency MP was not met with understanding and co-operation, a desire to find out why this worthy policy is not working out in practice and a willingness to put it right, but was turned into a cruel put-down. In my opinion, it shows that TM knows that this childcare provision was never intended to ‘do what it says on the tin’, but was nothing more than a sop to quieten those clamouring for some help for working parents. Of course, it wouldn’t help her cause to allow this to come into the open, so the question was quashed with the bombastic presentation of half-relevant statistics, aggression and lack of sensitivity so characteristic of PMQs.

  • There wasn’t any boorish jeering in that clip.

  • @ Martin, glad to get your confirmation that my hearing is not in decline. I didn’t hear any jeering either.

  • @Martin and David Raw

    That is because the video is edited and does not include the earlier section before the Speaker’s interruption.

  • David Pocock 8th Sep '17 - 1:37pm

    I am not sure this was a sexist thing, it seemed to me the typical treatment given to LD MPs. I’m all OK with some jeering and stuff but if people are just being booed for their party then that is very wrong and says a lot about the leadership of the nation.

    @Layla, I guess we are lib dems cos we would rather be in the right rather than in the establishment. Keep up the good work and I hope you can get things fixed for your constitutes.

  • suzanne Fletcher 9th Sep '17 - 2:43pm

    Agree it is disgraceful, but on the bright side at least it is in Parliament on TV for people to see. For years and years I had this as a councillor, including when I was completely on my own, but of course hardly anyone actually witnessed what went on so the labour lot (and some tories would sometimes join in too) got away with it.
    Whilst there was much about Nolan I did not like, it did improve behaviour here.
    I went to a conference of Women in the Regions of Europe in Barcelona about 15 years ago and was part of a move to have a declaration on such bad behaviour. I’ve forgotten the detail, but when I find it again will post.
    In the meantime, keep it up Layla, you will be really getting to them where it hurts, and I say the same to all others being treated badly like this.

  • suzanne Fletcher 9th Sep '17 - 3:24pm

    found it, but too long to paste in here (not sure how many words allowed to know what to cut down to).

  • While Bercow’s response may be less than the standard desired, it only got that far because of the boorish and disrespectful reaction to a question. Children (going back to the subject of the question) are taught to respect others speaking in a classroom so why should their elected officials be held to a lesser standard?

  • Bercow must have had a Damascene moment at PMQ’s today. Layla got first question.
    Later Jamie Stone and Norman Lamb got called. Finally Sir Vincent himself.

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