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Rory Stewart elected Defence Select Committee chair

Conservative MP Rory Stewart has been elected the new chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, taking over from fellow Tory James Arbuthnot.

Tory MP Rory Stewart will be the new chair of the Defence Committee. Credit: Bob Collier/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Stewart, who represents the Cumbria constituency of Penrith and The Border, has served in the army and the diplomatic service, along with running a charity in Afghanistan.

Bercow: Noise in Parliament 'puts MPs off contributing'

The House of Commons Speaker has criticised the "histrionics and cacophony of noise" during Prime Minister's Questions, saying it puts MPs off contributing.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow calls for order during Prime Minister's Questions. Credit: PA

John Bercow, who is responsible for maintaining order in the Commons, said Parliament was "spray painting its own shop window" by appearing to generate higher decibel levels than Deep Purple.

He said that despite recognising that behaviour must improve, the party leaders had yet to make a specific commitment to help do so.

BBC Radio 4's PM programme said Mr Bercow told them that "seasoned parliamentarians" boycotted PMQs out of embarrassment and that some female MPs did not want to take part in the session.

Streep set for political return in first film in Parliament

Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, will be part of the first major film to be shot in Parliament.

Commercial film-makers have always been denied entry, forcing producers to build replicas of the home of British politics.

After her turn as Margaret Thatcher, Meryl Streep is expected to play feminist icon Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

But MPs have allowed Suffragette, which follows the struggle for women to get the vote, to be shot in the historic chambers over the Easter recess in a bid to raise revenue.

Streep, who played Lady Thatcher in biopic The Iron Lady, will reportedly play another dominant figure in 20th Century politics, feminist trailblazer Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Houses of Parliament have never allowed commercial film-makers into the historic chambers before. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

British stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw also have leading roles.


Parliament locked down with no traffic allowed to pass

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