MP criticised by Commons Speaker after playing football in Parliament

An SNP MP has been rebuked by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow after she was filmed in the House of Commons playing with a football and posing for pictures with colleagues.

Hannah Bardell MP playing keepie uppie in the Houses of Parliament chamber. Picture: WEB
Hannah Bardell MP playing keepie uppie in the Houses of Parliament chamber. Picture: WEB

Hannah Bardell, the MP for Livingston, shared a video on her Twitter account performing ‘keepy ups’ with a football as she marked the formation of a Women’s Football Team in parliament.

The team was due to have their first match yesterday, but it was cancelled, leading the MP, who was previously donned a Scotland shirt in the chamber, to commandeer the House of Commons for an impromptu kickabout.

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They were rebuked by the Speaker John Bercow ahead of business today.

Ms Bardell, Labour MPs Louise Hague, Stephanie Peacock, and Alison McGovern, as well as former Tory Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, were pictured on Twitter posing in their parliamentary football team kit.

Hannah Bardell told Sky News: “(The video) was a fun way to show that whilst there is much division on many issues sport and football is something we can all agree on and have some fun with.”

However, John Bercow gave a statement to MPs this morning chiding the members involved, denying that he had given permission, and revealing that Ms Peacock, Ms Crouch and Ms Hague had apologised for the incident.

He said: “It has been brought to my attention that some football skills were on display in the chamber yesterday after the house rose.

“The doorkeepers were advised that permission had been given.

“Let me assure the House that permission certainly did not come from me.

“I think I can speak for us all when I say that our historic chamber should not be used for this type of activity.”