MPs pay tribute to health staff by applauding them in Commons

MPs have paid tribute to health service staff amid the coronavirus crisis by applauding them in the House of Commons.

Although clapping is banned in the Chamber, Labour MP Chris Bryant (Rhondda) said the circumstances were “very exceptional”.

Commending the work carried out by those working in A&E, Mr Bryant said: “My heart is just full of praise for all those doctors, all those nurses, all the cleaners and all the other parts of the A&E teams.

“Now, Madam Deputy Speaker (Eleanor Laing), I know you know that I don’t like clapping in the chamber and I’m sure you don’t like it either.

“But, I think there are very exceptional moments when this House would like to thank people who do a phenomenal job on all our behalf.

“And so, if you could close your eyes for a moment, I am going to applaud the A&E staff up and down the land.”

Dame Eleanor said: “Just for clarification, clapping is not a norm in this chamber and the reason why it is banned is because if it became the norm and was done many, many times every day, it would be meaningless once we were in an exceptional situation.

“This is an exceptional situation and (Mr Bryant) is right to pay tribute. The whole chamber, and indeed our whole Parliament, is right to pay tribute in a way that will be noticed to the many people who work in our wonderful health service.”