Welsh MP praises "lovely telling off" from the Speaker

It is, according to the Labour MP Paul Flynn, "a prize parliamentary skill" best demonstrated by "a big voice bellowing near a live microphone at one of those precious moments of silence".

Not everyone agrees. Last week, Speaker John Bercow decided he could do without another Welsh MP's bellowing at one of those precious moments of silence. He told Huw Irranca-Davies: "You have a beautiful voice, with very mellifluous tones. One disadvantage for you is that when it is loud, I can very easily hear it—some miles off, I think. We need to hear a bit less of it for the time being."

The Ogmore MP appeared on Radio 4's The Week In Westminster to explain himself: "Well, I was a very naughty boy, but it was a lovely telling off, it was the best telling off I've ever had."

He had intervened during a statement by Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith. Mr Irranca-Davies explained: "I was extremely passionate, quite noisy in my interventions on IDS and also background noise, but I wasn't trying to catch him out. I was just genuinely shouting across the chamber from a sedentary position as they call it, sitting down.

"It was more than heckling, I was literally shouting at him questions, they were challenging directly what he was saying. I was yelling across at him 'that is wrong, that is wrong' so it wasn't elaborate, funny, humorous heckling, it was simply 'I disagree', but the putdown was brilliant. I try not to do it that often but passions are aroused in the chamber."

Tory Alun Cairns is another Welsh heckler, but his heckling career in the chamber didn't get off to the best of starts. "The one that undermined me on my first prime minister's [questions], it is a bearpit and there's so much noise off-mic that people can't hear.

"I got up and I was so nervous, it was a couple of months after the election. I'm only about 5ft 4in tall and as I got up I stuck my chest out full of my own self-importance and someone [possibly Labour MP Mark Tami] shouted 'stand up'. The chamber broke down in hysterics and even the prime minister was covering his mouth."

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