MP calls for filibuster ban after Commons Brexit debate

MPs talking for hours to block debates on new laws should become a thing of the past, an SNP MP has urged.

Prime Minister Theresa May at PMQ's
Prime Minister Theresa May at PMQ's

Patrick Grady (Glasgow North) made a light-hearted comment that members should not be allowed to filibuster, after he himself spoke for 58 minutes during the Brexit Bill’s committee stage on Tuesday.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Grady said: “Does the Prime Minister agree that in a 21st century parliament the rules should not enable any member to speak for 58 minutes in a three-hour debate.

“Does she agree with me that the rules of the House should be allowed to be changed to prevent filibustering and to ensure that members from all sides of the House get a fair share of the time available?”

His comments were met with roars of laughter from the SNP benches, where a number of MPs have complained about the lack of time to fully debate the plans for leaving the European Union.

Theresa May responded: “I have to say I find that a rather curious question from the honourable gentleman.

“Last night, as it happens, I was out of the House between the two votes.

“I switched on the BBC parliamentary channel and I saw the honourable gentleman speaking, I turned over to something else.

“I switched back to the parliamentary channel, I saw the honourable gentleman still speaking. I switched over to something else. I switched back and the honourable gentleman was still speaking.

“He is the last person to complain about filibustering in this House.”