1. ITV Report

Paul Flynn MP suspended from Commons in row over Afghanistan

Labour MP Paul Flynn has been suspended from the House of Commons for five days without pay after what Defence Secretary Philip Hammond claimed were 'scandalous' comments.

The MP for Newport West accused the Ministry of Defence ministerial team of lying over Afghanistan policy.

Speaker John Bercow demanded Mr Flynn retract his statement but he refused, insisting it was more important for him to leave it on the record.

Questioning Mr Hammond during an urgent question, Mr Flynn said:

The role of our brave soldiers at the moment is to act as human shields for ministers' reputation.

The danger to our soldiers is being prolonged by those on that (front) bench who have the power to stop it.

Other countries have removed their soldiers from this dangerous area where they are not doing what we are doing which is arming and training our future enemy.

Isn't this very similar to the end of the First World War, when it was said that politicians lied and soldiers died and the reality was, as it is now, that our brave soldier lions are being led by ministerial donkeys?

Speaker John Bercow intervened, requesting clarification of Mr Flynn's remarks and for him to retract any suggestion ministers had lied to the Commons.

But Mr Flynn said:

That's precisely what I am saying. I believe we have had lies from the minister and I believe that our soldiers are being let down.

I apologise to you Mr Speaker, but I have to insist on retaining my accusation of lying. That is far more important than a lying group of people who send our soldiers to die in vain in a war which we should withdraw and from which the country wants us to withdraw.

I accept the consequences of what I am saying.

The speaker called on Deputy Leader of the House Tom Brake to suspend Mr Flynn, a move agreed by MPs.

I'm sorry to say you are ignoring the ruling of the chair and in so doing you are behaving, whatever your motives, in a grossly disorderly manner and in those circumstances I am obliged to name Paul Flynn, the MP for Newport West

– Speaker John Bercow

As the House of Commons is about to take a three week break for the party conferences, Mr Flynn will have to serve most of his ban next month.