Mallard kicked out of House

Trevor Mallard was today the first MP this parliamentary term to aggravate Speaker Lockwood Smith into turfing him out of Parliament's debating chamber.

The Labour Party education spokesman grew used to being ejected under previous Speaker Margaret Wilson for being feisty, but it was a spat over a spelling mistake which led to today's dismissal.

Education Minister Anne Tolley was talking about the importance of literacy and plans to set up trade academies around the country to give young people practical training opportunities while at school.

On hearing of those commitments, Mr Mallard challenged Ms Tolley to spell "academies".

ACT's Rodney Hide interjected, saying Parliament was not a spelling bee. "And the minister has no responsibility for the spelling of a particular word," he said.

Dr Smith said he could have annoyed the Opposition by ruling the question out, but instead backed Ms Tolley to be able to handle it.

"That's the type of question I would expect from the member," she said, before outlining Mr Mallard's alleged cynicism towards the initiatives she had been discussing.

Mr Mallard queried how Ms Tolley could promote higher education standards, yet put out a signed document on the issue "riddled with spelling errors".

National's Gerry Brownlee suggested the document may have been written by someone who was educated during the nine years Labour was in power.

A couple of questions later, Mr Mallard accused Ms Tolley of making false statements about what he had said in the past, but was cut short by Dr Smith.

He was cut short again and then kicked out of the chamber when he attempted to explain how previous Speakers dealt with points of order.

"The member will resume his seat right now. . . the member will leave the chamber," Dr Smith said.

He said he was also "sorely tempted" to turf Labour's Darren Hughes out after he snapped at Dr Smith not to "yell at the members".

Dr Smith has been considered a patient Speaker since taking up the post in December, and is generally strong on making MPs answer questions.

 - NZPA