Lloyd Russell-Moyle was ordered to withdraw from the House of Commons immediately, after grabbing the ceremonial mace in an act of protest. Speaker of the House John Bercow commanded the Labour MP leave the Chamber for the rest of today’s sitting. Mr Russell-Moyle picked up the mace and walked with it over the line, where he was stopped by two female Serjeant at Arms staff. The Labour MP put up no resistance as he was stopped and handed over the mace.
But he remained in the chamber looking at the Speaker and said nothing as MPs gasped.
Footage shows the moment MP’s first noticed his action, pointing and shouting while trying to gain the Speaker’s attention.
Mr Bercow said: “Order, put it back. No, no, no. Order, order. No, no, no.
“I’m grateful to a dedicated servant of the House for bringing forward the mace and restoring it to its place.
Brexit news: Speaker John Bercow ordered the Labour MP to leave the chamber immediately (Image: Sky News)
Brexit news: Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle picked up the mace in protest (Image: Twitter/Joe Politics)
I must order the honourable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the House
“I’m sorry but under the power given to me, by standing order number 43 and I think the honourable gentleman will know the implications of his action, I must order the honourable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of this day’s sitting.
“Mr Russell-Moyle please leave this chamber. Thank you.”
The mace in parliament is a symbol of royal authority, and without it neither House can meet or pass laws.
Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was suspended from the House of Commons for five days in 2009 for grabbing the mace.
Mr Russell-Moyle said he acted “on the spur of the moment” because of his frustration MPs were not being listened to.
Speaking from the Red Lion pub just outside Parliament, the Labour MP said: “The symbolic gesture of lifting the mace and removing it is that the will of Parliament to govern is no longer there has been removed.
“I felt Parliament had effectively given up its sovereign right to govern properly.
“They stopped me before I got out of the Chamber and I wasn’t going to struggle with someone wearing a huge sword on their hip.”
Mrs May is now set to travel to Europe with the aim of seeking concessions on her Brexit deal, after calling off a crunch House of Commons vote in which she was expected to go down to a heavy defeat.
In a statement to MPs, Mrs May also said the Government was stepping up preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit.
And she said that MPs who were threatening to vote against the deal she secured with Brussels must ask themselves the fundamental question: “Does this House want to deliver Brexit?”
If the answer was yes, she said that they needed to consider whether they were prepared to make “compromises” in order to make good on the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.
Mrs May’s statement came amid dramatic scenes at Westminster, as news of her plan to postpone Tuesday’s “meaningful vote” broke just minutes after Downing Street had insisted it was going ahead.
It is understood that the PM had been warned that she faced a large-scale defeat when MPs voted at the end of five days of debate in the Commons on her plans. She spoke with her Cabinet colleagues by a telephone conference call before addressing the Commons.