Lindsay Hoyle (document in hand) causes chaos after he decided to present the Labor Party's amendments to the proposal presented by the Scottish National Party (Reuters)

Speaker of the British House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, caused unprecedented chaos in the British Parliament, after he violated parliamentary rules in favor of the Labor Party in order to thwart the approval of a draft ceasefire in Gaza, submitted by the Scottish National Party.

The representatives were discussing 3 separate proposals related to the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, all of which were largely symbolic and not binding on the government.

The opposition Scottish National Party has put forward a proposal urging an immediate ceasefire, the release of all Israeli prisoners held by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and “an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

While the ruling Conservative Party put forward its own proposal supporting an “immediate humanitarian truce,” followed by “movements toward a permanent and sustainable ceasefire,” it ultimately withdrew the proposal.

The opposition Labor Party also called on the president, in a separate proposal, for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and a diplomatic process to achieve a two-state solution and lasting peace, without mentioning collective punishment.

Chaos erupted when Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, chose to allow the Labor opposition to submit an amendment to the proposal presented by the Scottish National Party, in a precedent of its kind for violating the rules of Parliament.

A state of controversy in the British Parliament after the Speaker of the House of Commons violated the rules of Parliament and took a measure that may contribute to the failure of the ceasefire vote in Gaza!!

Disputes broke out in the British House of Commons after its Speaker made a surprising and controversial decision regarding voting on the ceasefire resolution in Gaza.. The Speaker…

- Britain in Arabic🇬🇧 (@TheUKAr) February 21, 2024

What Hoyle did violates the “customary agreement” which stipulates that “only the government” can submit amendments to the opposition parties’ proposals, and no other party can amend the parties’ proposals.

Observers considered that the proposal of the Labor Party led by Keir Starmer, which is leading in opinion polls before the elections this year, aims to avoid reviving divisions within the party over this issue.

This decision angered the government and all parties, especially the Conservative and Scottish National Parties, as dozens of representatives from both parties withdrew from the council hall during the session in protest against what happened, and they accused Hoyle of making a political decision to help Starmer avoid a major rebellion from his deputies, who wanted to support a proposal. Scottish National Party, voting in favor of the ceasefire resolution.

Some Conservative MPs claimed that Starmer forced the Speaker to choose to present Labour's amendments, and threatened to introduce a no-confidence motion against him, which made Hoyle - according to the allegations - subject to pressure and threats to maintain his position, even though he now faces a greater threat from the parties because of his violation of the rules. Parliamentarianism in favor of a particular party, which may undermine the people’s confidence in Parliament, which is supposed to represent all Britons.

Unprecedented chaos in the stronghold of British democracy... MPs from the Scottish National Party and the Conservatives leave the House of Commons hall while the session is being held in protest against the Speaker’s violation of parliamentary rules in favor of the Labor Party... and demand his resignation (despite him offering an official apology to all MPs) https://t .co/qgV0ftbMBF

- Britain in Arabic🇬🇧 (@TheUKAr) February 21, 2024

The Scottish National Party accused Labor of hijacking their proposal, and believed that Hoyle enabled them to do so. Scottish National Party leader Stephen Flynn also denounced the "contempt" to which he said his party was subjected, while calls for his resignation rose from both sides of the House of Commons during Hoyle's speech, which holds Position since the end of 2019.

Ultimately, with many Conservative and SNP members absent, Labour's version of the ceasefire call was passed by a voice vote, rather than a full formal vote.

The Speaker of the House of Commons appeared annoyed in the face of MPs' anger, and ended up apologizing for the way things had gone, after explaining that he was aiming to allow a wider debate.

Source: Al Jazeera + social networking sites + agencies