Speaker condemns abuse

Commons Speaker John Bercow has confirmed Philip Davies did not block a Bill aimed at toughening up sentencing for animal cruelty “as a point of fact”.

The Shipley MP was accused of stopping Redcar MP Anna Turley’s bill progressing, resulting in his office staff being subject to “widespread, unjustified and terrible abuse.”

Mr Davies raised a point of order in Parliament asking for clarification after Ms Turley accused him of halting her Bill which was eighth on the list.

Mr Bercow said: “He (Mr Davies) has, on a number of occasions, very explicitly blocked Bills, possibly by shouting “Object” and certainly by developing his arguments at a leisurely pace and in detail, which he thinks have required his forensic scrutiny. In other words, he has, by one means or another, blocked many Bills. He did not block this Bill. Simply as a point of fact, because I believe in the intelligibility of our proceedings and people not running away with the wrong idea, he did not block the hon. Lady’s Bill.”

Mr Davies said the Bill could have been nodded through at the end of the day and was clearly blocked by someone, but not by him as he was not even present at the time the Bill was blocked.

Mr Davies said: “I support the Animal Cruelty Bill and want to see tougher prison sentences for people convicted of animal cruelty. I am therefore delighted the Speaker of the House of Commons has stepped in to set the record straight.

“The Speakers clarification shows that these were outrageous and inaccurate slurs from the Labour party.”

He added MPs giving members of the public false pictures of proceedings was dangerous because “it encourages vile abuse of our staff, which is not justified and can have dangerous consequences.”