Welsh debate 'degenerates' into Christmas party

The Wales Bill's parliamentary journey may be over but its last leg was not uneventful.

Deputy Speaker Dawn Primarolo found herself having to keep order over a debate she said was degenerating into a Christmas party with MPs shouting at each other.

She ticked off two MPs for digressing from tax powers to discuss Swansea City and a wedding suit.

It kicked off (forgive the pun) when Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards interrupted a speech from Swansea West Labour MP Geraint Davies. Mr Edwards told him: "We're both Swansea City supporters so I'm very grateful and he's been very kind in allowing me to intervene."

Mr Davies wanted to know why his suit was brown not black and white, in keeping with the Swans' colours, Mr Edwards said: "It's my wedding suit, or the suit I had with my wedding suit rather." It had, he said, received "much comment" around Westminster.

Ms Primarolo started to lose patience, telling Mr Edwards: "I have no idea what is being spoken about here. We are not discussing Swansea football club, we're not discussing suits or weddings and you were doing an intervention on the Wales Bill tax raising powers.

"Perhaps you could face me and then I could hear you and secondly you could make your intervention in order, please."

Mr Edwards replied: "I am grateful to you for saving me. My good friend was distracting me on some spurious points."

Mr Davies: "I would like to publicly assure Mrs Edwards the wedding wasn't spurious, but anyway, moving forward I do congratulate you on your point and your suit."

Democratic Unionist MP Sammy Wilson then joined in, prompting a murmur or two from the direction of Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd.

Ms Primarolo snapped: "This is ridiculous. This debate is degenerating into some sort of Christmas party where members are just shouting at each other.

"It's a proper debate on Lords amendments. Members who have been in this House for a long time know that heckling or comments from a sedentary position are not acceptable."

As the debate progressed, Ms Primarolo was substituted by Speaker John Bercow. She did not look too disappointed to leave the field of play.