Labour MPs kicked out of debating chamber

Last updated 15:56 27/03/2013
Chris Hipkins
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
CHRIS HIPKINS: Challenged the Speaker.
Labour MP Trevor Mallard.
TREVOR MALLARD: Booted out of the Chamber.

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Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Chris Hipkins have been kicked out of Parliament's debating chamber after arguing with Speaker David Carter.

The opposition MPs were unhappy with the way Prime Minister John Key had been treated and said the Speaker was changing Parliament's rules. 

Carter took offence and asked Mallard and then Hipkins to leave the debating chamber. 

Remaining Labour MPs in the house called out "farce" as they exited.

NZ First leader Winston Peters attempted to support the Labour Party but was overridden by National.

Chris Hipkins said on Twitter after the incident: "Today is a sad day for Parliamentary democracy. Speaker Carter clearly has double standards," and then, "Carter lets the PM abuse the point of order process with no consequence, then throws two Labour MPs out without even giving us a hearing!" 

Outside the House, Mallard said Key had got away with murder and that he had not seen anything as bad as this since the mid 1980s.

He was frustrated that he was not allowed to raise a point of order - a parliamentary objection - this afternoon.

"I think that there have been some problems with the Speakership."

Carter started out well but then went downhill over the past few weeks, Mallard said.

"He was too lenient on the Prime Minister today, he was very lenient on him yesterday... the Prime Minister has frankly got away with murder and it is leading to questions now on our side as to whether the Speaker is biased."

Leader of House Gerry Brownlee said Carter was doing a good job and was not biased.

"I think he's doing very well, he's setting a standard that he wants the Parliament to follow and he's had to take some strong action today and that sends a good message to  everybody that there is a Speaker who will maintain that order in Parliament."

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- The Dominion Post

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