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Politics latest: Boost for Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle amid pressure over future – as

Analysis: Hoyle’s position seems more secure now – as Tories try to turn focus back on Labour

After a dicey Thursday for the Commons Speaker, his position seems more secure this morning – if Sir Lindsay Hoyle wants to keep it of course.

Downing Street and the Tory machine appear to be throwing their weight behind Sir Lindsay, with cabinet ministers sent onto the media to praise him as a “decent man” who has brought a “breath of fresh air” to the job.

Part of this seems to be about trying to turn attention back onto Labour for Wednesday night’s chaotic scenes in parliament.

The Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho was the most critical, telling reporters: “The real culprit here is Keir Starmer. I think he’s put the Speaker in an intolerable position by saying that we should bow to intimidation and external influences.”

The argument being made in the Tory camp is that by pressuring the Speaker to include a Labour ceasefire amendment, Sir Keir has shown that threats and intimidation from external players are worth pursuing, because on this occasion the proceedings in parliament were indeed influenced.

As on Tory source put it: “Starmer’s undermined parliament, bullied the Speaker into doing something he admitted was ‘wrong’, and it sadly won’t be long before more antisemitic views emerge from Labour”.

Labour denies this, saying that it pushed for its amendment to be included so that the “right range of debates” took place.

Whatever the real reason, it’s undeniable that Sir Keir benefited politically from the Speaker’s actions by avoiding an embarrassing and painful rebellion.

This is all somewhat irrelevant to the issues of substance here, though.

In much the same way the discussion around the war in Gaza was overrun by point scoring on Wednesday night, the conversation about how to keep MPs safe while preserving space for valid debate is now also being blotted out by party politics.

Cooler and wiser Westminster heads will argue that, on both these issues, what is needed is more consensus and less combat.

But in an election year that seems unlikely – as the events of the last three days have proven.

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