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Speaker: Party leaders must do more about rowdy MPs

Party leaders are not doing enough to get rowdy MPs under control at PMQs, the Speaker of the House of Commons told Radio 4's PM programme.

In a wide-ranging interview covering MPs expenses and sexual harassment in Parliament, John Bercow criticised all party leaders for not delivering a "specific commitment" on their members behaviour.

I have heard back from the party leaders.

There is a general sense, 'Yes Mr Speaker you make a good point and of course we must behave well and try to impress the public and give serious consideration to what people think', but there's not yet much by way of a specific commitment."

I know there are people in the Westminster beltway, including in the press gallery, who think, 'Well, what's the Speaker moaning about? Why is he so neurotic? This is the way people like it'.

To which my answer is no, that's the way you like it.

– John Bercow

Read: MPs put off PMQs by bad behaviour, warns Bercow

MPs put off PMQs by bad behaviour, warns speaker

MPs are increasingly put off Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) by the "histrionics and cacophony of noise", the Speaker of the House of Commons has warned.

Read: 'Dunce' Cameron takes aim at 'muppet' Miliband

John Bercow
John Bercow has to frequently call the house to order during PMQs. Credit: PA

John Bercow said women MPs and "seasoned parliamentarians" had given up attending the weekly question and answer session because of bad behaviour by other members of the house.

Mr Bercow said Parliament was "spray painting its own shop window" by appearing to generate higher decibel levels than heavy metal band Deep Purple, regarded as the loudest band in the world in some quarters.

He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme there are "down-market parts of the media" who would "positively relish" it if there was a fight on the floor of the Commons chamber.

Read: Tory MP Anne Marie Morris steals show at PMQs with ear-busting outburst


Cameron and Miliband trade blows over Miller row

David Cameron and Ed Miliband traded blows today over the Prime Minister's handling of the controversy over Maria Miller's expenses claims.

During Prime Minister's Questions, the Labour leader accused Mr Cameron of being an "apologist for unacceptable behaviour" and of failing to understand the public outcry over the affair.

While the Prime Minister suggested there was a lesson to be learned about loyalty and not rushing to judgement, Mr Miliband claimed his answer showed Mr Cameron thought the former Culture Secretary "did nothing wrong".

Mr Cameron hit back, accusing Mr Miliband of being opportunistic and claiming he was jumping on a "political bandwagon" after "the whole circus has left town".

Read: Maria Miller resigns as Culture Secretary

'Dunce' Cameron takes aim at 'muppet' Miliband

Ed Miliband has branded David Cameron a "dunce" over his handling of the Royal Mail privatisation, prompting the Prime Minister to attack his Labour opponent as a "muppet" over his role in selling off the UK's gold stockpile.

Read: Government 'more concerned by successful Royal Mail sale than share price'

The pair clashes in a heated Prime Minister's Questions, in which the Labour leader claimed the Government had "lost £1.4bn for the taxpayer" by undervaluing shares in Royal Mail.

As well as his attack over the sale of British gold - which took place when Gordon Brown was Chancellor - Mr Cameron claimed Labour had themselves wanted to privatise the Royal Mail.

"The truth is this. You sat in a Cabinet that wanted to privatise the Royal Mail, they couldn't do it... because the trade unions won't let them," Mr Cameron said.

Zac Goldsmith calls party leaders 'muppets' on energy

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has highlighted that party leaders "fought to prove they were the greenest" during the 2010 General Election campaign.

Calling them "muppets," he wrote on Twitter:


In 2010, leaders fought to prove they were the greenest. 3 yrs on, they're desperately blaming their own policies on the other. Muppets.

His comments came after David Cameron promised to roll back "green regulation" imposed by the Labour Government


Hague criticised for 'stupid woman' comment at PMQs

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has been criticised after he appeared to mouth "you stupid woman" at a Labour MP during Prime Minister's Questions.

Shadow Treasury Minister Cathy Jamieson asked the Prime Minister whether Tullow Oil chief executive Aidan Heavey's donations to the Conservative Party had influenced Mr Hague's intervention in a tax dispute involving the company.

Mr Hague, who was sat next to David Cameron, appeared to mouth "you stupid woman" twice as the Prime Minister answered Ms Jamieson's question:

Although Ms Jamieson did not comment directly on her Twitter account about the exchange, she retweeted comments that urge Mr Hague to apologise and call the incident "utterly despicable".

Read more: PM jeered in the Commons over Wimbledon Virginia Wade gaffe**


Prime Minister's Questions: Five things we can learn

by - Deputy Political Editor

Five things we can learn from today's Prime Minister's Questions:

1 - MPs can be very loud - this was perhaps the noisiest session I have ever heard.

2 - Ed Miliband is trying very hard to get on the front foot over party funding after a terrible week

David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions today
David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions today Credit: PA Wire

3 - David Cameron is still attempting to insert an answer on unions bankrolling Labour - no matter what the question

4 - Labour are now targeting the hedge funds they claim are funding the Tories

5 - People in the country might think there are more important issues to discuss during PMQs

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