News National Labor defeated in move to oust Bishop as speaker
Updated:

Labor defeated in move to oust Bishop as speaker

AAP
Share
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

The manager of opposition business Tony Burke has moved a motion of no confidence in the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop.

The move followed Ms Bishop’s upping the ante in her ongoing battle with Labor, banning shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus from parliament for 24 hours.

The manager of opposition business Tony Burke has moved a motion of no confidence in the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop.

The suspension motion went down 51-83.

Independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan supported the government, while Greens MP Adam Bandt sided with Labor.

Mr Burke’s move followed Mrs Bishop’s upping the ante in her ongoing battle with Labor, banning shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus from parliament for 24 hours.

Question time has become progressively rowdier this week with Mrs Bishop demanding several times that Labor cease its “wall of noise”.

Barely 15 minutes in to Thursday’s session, she told the opposition to listen to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in silence, since it had heard Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s question quietly.

“Madam Speaker!” Mr Dreyfus protested.

For that, the Speaker “named” him and the government won a motion to excuse him from parliament for 24 hours – the usual procedure for a naming.

Mr Burke urged the house to say it had no further confidence in Mrs Bishop as Speaker due to her “serious partiality” in favour of government members.

Mrs Bishop “constantly fails to interpret correctly the standing orders” and accused her of “gross incompetency” in administering parliamentary procedure, he said.

But Mrs Bishop suggested Labor needed to get its own house in order.

She said on Thursday Labor was unable to call a division on a second reading speech because only one MP was in the house.

Then Labor called a division and then called it off.

Finally, Labor had failed to provide a speaker for the debate on a piece of legislation, she said.

Moving for suspension of standing orders so the no-confidence motion could be debated, Mr Burke said never before in the history of the Commonwealth had an MP been named and thrown out for calling “Madam Speaker”.

“Yesterday we had a member of parliament thrown out for laughing,” he said.

Mr Burke said both sides acknowledged the Speaker was a formidable parliamentarian, who as a minister and member of the opposition managed to launch scathing attacks on Labor.

“You are respected as a member of parliament for that. But we cannot support you continuing to behave that way when you want to sit in the Speaker’s chair,” he said.

“The parliament deserves more than that and the parliament cannot, cannot have confidence in a Speaker who refuses to be impartial,” Mr Burke said.

House leader Christopher Pyne defended Mrs Bishop, saying Mr Burke had clearly been working up to the motion since the 44th parliament began.

“The fact that this is a stunt, Madam Speaker, is so clearly indicated by the fact the Manager of Opposition Business came into the chamber with a prepared speech,” he said.

Mr Pyne called Mr Dreyfus an aggressive bully who had deliberately been rude to the Speaker.

“I’m no sook,” Mr Pyne said, citing his term as opposition business manager during the hung parliament and his record as the most-ejected MP in parliament’s history.

“I never complained. I didn’t stand up like a great big sook like the Manager of Opposition Business did today and say … I had my toy taken away.”

Comments
View Comments