Chief whip rebukes peers for falling ASLEEP in the chamber

House of Lordzzzz: Chief whip rebukes peers for falling ASLEEP in the chamber and demands they maintain ‘standards’

  • The Tory chief whip Lord Taylor of Holbeach, has sent email rebuking peers
  • He said peers have fallen asleep and shouted from their seats on red  benches
  • Comes amid mounting calls for unelected Chamber to be abolished or reformed 

Peers have been told off for falling asleep in the Chamber – and been warned they must stay alert and maintain ‘standards’.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach, the Government’s chief whip, has emailed all Tory peers to warn them that their conduct was not up to scratch.

He complained that peers have been loudly chattering on their red benches and even dozing off rather than listening respectfully to the debates.

He wrote: ‘It has been observed by members of our house that, over recent months, conduct in the Chamber has not been of the standard we should expect.’

A list of the ‘main transgressions’ includes ‘falling asleep in the chamber’, ‘audible conversations’ and ‘sedentary shouting’, The Times reported.

Peers have been told off for falling asleep in the Chamber – and been warned they must stay alert and maintain ‘standards’. Labour peer Lord Foulkes was pictured with his eyes closed and apparently asleep in a recent BBC documentary about the House of Lords

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The whips of the other main political parties have sent emails to Lib Dem and labour peers also delivering the stern warnings. 

A recent BBC documentary showed the Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock with his eyes closed an apparently asleep in the Chamber.

It comes as pressure mounts for ministers to abolish or drastically reform the unelected House of Lords.

Peers are paid £300 a day to turn up at the Chamber – regardless of whether or not they speak or vote in debates.

And the Chamber has been stuffed with some 778 unelected peers, making it one of the second biggest legislature in the world  after the People’s Republic of China.

A Labour source said peers would be reminded of conventions but said there would be no mention of sleeping. 

They added: ‘Sometimes they really are closing their eyes. Others are leaning into the monitor to hear more closely and it looks like they’ve keeled over.’

The rebuke follows weeks of noisy and angry debates on the Brexit Bill in the Chamber.

Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne fell asleep while his Conservative colleague Ken Clarke spoke during a debate on the Brexit Bill in January.

Remain-backing peers tables some 15 wrecking amendments to the crucial legislation in a bid to keep the UK in the EU customs union and single market after Brexit.

The fiery debates sparked verbal clashes between peers who desperately want the UK to stay close to Brussels and those who warned they were overstepping their authority to try to dictate to MPs the terms of Brexit.

It is not the first time that politicians have come under fire for dozing off while in a debate in Parliament.

Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne fell asleep while his Conservative colleague Ken Clarke spoke during a debate on the Brexit Bill in January.

The Brexit-backing slumped into his seat with his head rested on his hand for a short period as Mr Clarke – a vocal Remainer –  discussed the EU charter of fundamental rights.

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