Deputy Speaker stops MP talking 'like a Dalek'

By Richard Morris
Political reporter, BBC News

Media caption,
Deputy Speaker stops MP Scott Mann sounding 'like a Dalek'

An MP has had his contribution to the House of Commons interrupted for sounding "like a Dalek".

Conservative Scott Mann was speaking via video link in a debate on dentistry services during the pandemic.

But a technical problem meant his audio became distorted, leaving his voice far lower than usual.

Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans told him: "Scott, you sound like a Dalek and I don't mean that unkindly. There's clearly a communications problem."

Their colleague having been likened to one of Dr Who's arch-enemies, MPs on both sides of the socially distanced House laughed, as Mr Mann, who represents North Cornwall, was left to tweak his equipment.

'Book of Proverbs'

The following speaker, Labour's Barry Gardiner, could not be heard at the beginning of his speech, because he was muted.

The problem was fixed just as he was - rather surreally - uttering the words "... so says the Book of Proverbs".

Later in the debate, Mr Evans again called Mr Mann, who told MPs: "Apologies from North Cornwall."

Image caption,
Daleks are surprisingly well versed in Westminster ways - one having appeared on the Andrew Marr Show alongside Boris Johnson in 2008

There have been a number of unfortunate incidents during politicians' virtual contributions to the UK's parliaments - and the media - since the pandemic started.

SNP MP's John Nicholson's cat, Rojo, intervened with his tail during a committee hearing.

And shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth's children came and spoke to him during an interview with the BBC News Channel.

Fans of Doctor Who will know that the Daleks - catchphrase "Exterminate" - have, at some stage, had their own parliament and prime minister.

However, their debating chamber was rounded - more in the style of the Welsh Parliament than the face-to-face, adversarial layout of Westminster.