Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle chairs shortest PMQs in three years - dominated by Iran and IndyRef2

Sir Lindsay Hoyle (centre) stuck to his word in reducing the length of PMQs. Credit: PA

The first PMQs of 2020, which was dominated by Iran and IndyRef2 - was the shortest in duration for three years.

True to his word, new Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle kept the length of proceedings to a minimum, with the session lasting just 33 minutes.

In taking over from John Bercow, Sir Lindsay vowed to bring PMQs back to its traditional length of just half an hour, after the duration had raised to an average of 49 minutes in 2019.

When Mr Bercow was elected speaker in 2009 the average duration was just over 30 minutes. By 2015 the average was 35 minutes and Bercow's final session, on October 30 2019, lasted 71 minutes.

Aside from allowing long sessions, Mr Bercow had also been criticised for breaking several speaker traditions and was accused of being biased over Brexit.

It was all smiles for Sir Lindsay as he chaired the shortest PMQs in three years. Credit: Parliament/Jessica Taylor

After resigning, Mr Bercow became the first former speaker in 230 years not to be offered a peerage.

In Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn chose to attack Boris Johnson over his handling of what he claims was the "illegal" assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by the US.

Mr Corbyn accused the PM of "prioritising" his relationship with President Donald Trump and a trade deal with the US, over the security of the UK and Middle East.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

But Mr Johnson said the Iranian general had the "blood of British troops on his hands" and the "strict issue of legality is not for the UK to determine".

And he said he was "very surprised" Mr Corbyn himself had not condemned the actions of Soleiman, who is accused of sponsoring terrorism.

In PMQs Mr Johnson again rejected calls for a new referendum on Scottish independence saying Scots had already made their decision.

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford asked: "Who should determine the future of Scotland, the PM, or the people who live in Scotland?”

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Mr Johnson told him "the people of Scotland" voted "decisively" in 2014 to remain in the UK, in what he described as a "once in a generation choice".

Before PMQs was Commons Scotland questions, in which Scottish Secretary Alister Jack confirmed the UK government had received Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's request for a second independence referendum.

Mr Jack told the Commons "it would be completely wrong for us to hand those powers over to the Scottish Parliament because we would end up in a series of never-endums".