Lindsay Hoyle scolds Dominic Raab during PMQs - 'stop bringing up Jeremy Corbyn'

Lindsay Hoyle insisted Dominic Raab stopped using history as a 'defensive mechanism'

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Speaker Lindsay Hoyle told Dominic Raab today to stop bringing up “history” as a way to counter criticisms of the government over their handling of the energy crisis.

Mr Raab was also repeatedly pressed by Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner during Prime Minister’s Questions over Lord Lebedev’s elevation to the Upper House and raised reports that the head of MI6 held security concerns over the appointment.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner accused the Government of going “cap in hand from one dictator to another” by asking Saudi Arabia to produce more oil following the move to divest from Russian fossil fuels.

After facing heckles from the Government benches and a call for order by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle at Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions, the deputy leader of the opposition added: “The Government benches have a choice – they can accept Labour’s plan to save working families hundreds of pounds on bills funded by a one-off levy on the soaring profits of energy companies.

Deputy Leader of the opposition, Angela Rayner
Deputy Leader of the opposition, Angela Rayner

“So I ask the Deputy Prime Minister – is their only plan to keep on begging?”

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab replied: “Can I just gently say to her that when she was campaigning as the rest of them were to make the member of Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) prime minister, this Prime Minister was foreign secretary, leading the response to the nerve agent attack on Salisbury.”

After further calls for order for the Commons Speaker, Mr Raab added that Jeremy Corbyn had “sided with Putin” in the past, and quoted Ms Rayner’s past words that Mr Corbyn was a “very strong leader” and could not wait for him to become Prime Minister.

Hoyle responded by insisting Mr Raab stuck to the present and stopped “talking about history” and using it as a “defensive mechanism”.

He said: “ "I hate to say, he can't keep going back ... years as a defensive mechanism.

"What I want you to do, deputy Prime Minister, is please if we could try and stick to the general ... without talking about history."

Mr Raab replied: "I wanted just to point out, I hope it's not ancient history, that the Prime Minister was as Foreign Secretary galvanising the response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury at the time where the honourable member, the former leader of the Labour Party, was siding with Putin."

Deputy Leader, Dominic Raab
Deputy Leader, Dominic Raab

Asking her final question during Prime Minister’s Questions, Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “There is a war in Europe. There is a fuel energy crisis in Britain. Democracy is at risk. We must support the courageous efforts of President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people.

“These uncertain times require leadership with integrity. A leader that works with the security services, can be trusted to say the right thing for British diplomacy and provide security to the British people.

“Instead we have got this sorry excuse of a Government that is before us.”

She accused the Government of “partying during lockdown” adding: “Can the Deputy Prime Minister look the British people in the eye and say this Government is doing their best?

Mr Raab replied that the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary had shown leadership with the “impact of the sanctions and the diplomatic effort” which had let to the “rouble plummeting”.

He added: “We have also shown the big-hearted spirit of this Government and indeed this nation”, by processing visas for Ukrainians and with the new humanitarian sponsorship scheme.