Government and crossbench MPs ‘sickened’ by behaviour in parliament

MPs from the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservative parties, along with an independent, have lambasted the behaviour seen recently in House of Commons’ debates.

The parliament was more than usually adversarial last week on its return after its proroguing was deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court.

Amongst the many shouts and taunts that went around the chamber, Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed fears that his use of words such as “traitor” and “betrayal” was dangerous in the current political climate.

In a letter published in The Times on Monday, Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger, Conservative Paul Masterton, Rosie Duffield from the Labour Party and Stephen Lloyd, a former Lib Dem now sitting as an independent, said they felt “sickened” by what happened in parliament.

“MPs screaming at each other across the floor; a prime minister dismissing fears of violence; and MPs fighting back tears sharing stories about vitriolic abuse they and their families have faced.

“Our political system foments this frenzy, entrenching and encouraging overly tribal and partisan behaviour, which threatens our ability to work together,” they wrote.

The four MPs said they were adding their voices to those “from across the political divides calling for urgent change”.

Calling for calmer calmer heads, they said MPs needed to relearn debate as a way to build consensus, not to score political points.

The MPs said no one party was blameless and called for all sides to put aside tribalism to help the country “heal by example”.

The letter finished by saying: “There is no more important task.”

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