Farage hails Reform as ‘new kids on the block’ as leaders thank Speaker

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has hailed his party as the “new kids on the block” as the Party leaders gave their opening speeches to Parliament.

The Speaker election marks the first day of the new Parliament, which welcomes 335 new MPs to the chamber.

British prime minister Keir Starmer vowed to “put an end to a politics that has too often seemed self-serving and self-obsessed”, while the new leader of the opposition Rishi Sunak told the Commons, “our democracy is powerful and, as we have witnessed, it can be definitive”.

Reform UK, formerly the Brexit Party, was founded in 2018.

Prior to last week’s election, the party had only one MP, Lee Anderson, who defected from the Conservative Party.

Reform returned five MPs, including Mr Farage, who was successfully elected for Clacton in his eighth run at the Commons.

Mr Farage told MPs: “We have no experience in this Parliament whatsoever, even though some of us have tried many times over the years previously.”

Eliciting groans from the government benches, Mr Farage compared speaker Mr Lindsay Hoyle to his predecessor John Bercow.

In March 2019, Mr Bercow pre-empted a move by the Government to bring the Brexit UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement for a third vote.


Mr Farage said: “We absolutely endorse (Mr Lindsay) entirely for this job. And it is, I must say, in marked contrast to the little man that was there before you and besmirched the office so dreadfully in doing his best to overturn the biggest democratic result in the history of the country.

“We support you Sir, fully.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood went on to joke that new MPs should not fall out with the Speaker.

The SDLP leader said: “I want to take this opportunity also to welcome all the new members, even the ones that I profoundly disagree with. The one piece of advice I have to give every new member here is to remember that the Speaker doesn’t just chair the meetings – he’s the boss.

“He is in charge of everything around this place and I would do well be it not to fall out with him.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey thanked Mr Lindsay for the care he shows MPs, including the concern he exhibited for those with vigorous election campaign schedules.

Over the six weeks of the campaign Ed was known for stunts such as bungee-jumping, paddle-boarding and kayaking.

He told the Commons: “Mr Speaker-elect has always been a real champion for the security and safety of all members and all our staff as well as looking after our health and welfare. We are grateful to you for doing that.

“Sir, just yesterday, you asked after my health following my active campaign and the House may be interested to know that after I reassured you about my health you expressed real enthusiasm about bungee jumping.”

Mr Lindsay also said: “We on these benches will hold the Government to account, that is our job. We will focus on the health and care crisis, we will focus on ending the sewage scandal, we will focus on helping people with a cost of living crisis.”

Mr Lindsay faced pressure earlier this year to step down as Speaker over his handling of a vote on a ceasefire in Gaza which led to the SNP walking out of the chamber in protest.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “I think it’s safe to say that me and you didn’t always see eye to eye during the course of the last parliament but in politics and in life, I think it’s important to let bygones be bygones and to focus on the future.”

Mr Flynn also referred to his party’s loss of over 30 seats, the majority of which were won by Labour.

He said: “I wish to begin by welcoming all new members to the chamber, in particular those members from Scottish constituencies.

“There’s probably a few more new members from Scottish constituencies than I would like to have seen, but I do look forward to working constructively with you to deliver in the best interests of the people that we are all so fortunate to represent.”

In his speech earlier, Mr Lindsay referred to the DUP MP for Strangford, Jim Shannon who is known for his frequent contributions in debates of any and all natures.

He said: “Needless to say, in this role you need staying power. I’ve already been speaker during the tenure of three prime ministers, two monarchs and one Jim Shannon.”

When welcoming the Speaker, DUP leader Gavin Robinson made reference to his earlier mention of Mr Shannon.

He said: “Congratulations Mr Speaker-elect, we are thrilled to see you back in your seat but for those new members of Parliament who have yet to understand just how this place works, some of them will learn through time that Jim Shannon needed no further encouragement.”

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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