Labour Members of Parliament want to introduce a “sin bin” for rowdy colleagues. Under their proposed system, Parliamentarians would be treated much like sportsmen: those handed a yellow card for poor conduct would be barred from a debate for an hour, whilst those receiving a red card would have to sit out the next three sessions.
The system is being proposed by Labour MP Angela Eagle, the shadow Leader of the House of Commons, who was once told to “calm down, dear” by Prime Minister David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions, the Sunday Times has reported.
She and her colleagues want to see an end to the crude gestures, barracking and heckling that has characterised debate in the chamber for decades. They cite research showing that the public are turned off by the childish behaviour.
Fellow Labour MP Sarah Champion recently complained that the atmosphere in the Commons is sexist. She said that male MP’s are “very good at gesticulating” about their female colleagues bottoms and breasts as the women try to make speeches.
Other MPs have shouted “nurse!” during speeches, implying that the speaker is a mental patient in need of psychiatric care; or used the sign language gesture for “bulls**t” during debates. During Prime Ministers Questions, the volume often reaches such a pitch that the parliamentarians cannot hear each other.