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Tuesday, March 3, 1998 Published at 22:18 GMT

UK: Politics

Labour MP suspended from Commons
image: [ Ronnie Campbell was ordered to leave the Commons chamber ]
Ronnie Campbell was ordered to leave the Commons chamber

A Labour MP has become the first member to be ordered out of the House of Commons since last May's General Election after calling a Conservative frontbencher a "hypocrite".

Backbencher Ronnie Campbell refused to withdraw his remark made during a debate on the countryside.

Deputy Speaker Michael Lord told Mr Campbell to leave and said he could not return for the rest of the day.

The Labour MP for Blyth Valley began his attack as the Shadow Agriculture Minister, Michael Jack, was opening the debate.

Mr Campbell interrupted Mr Jack to make a point about the previous Conservative Government's treatment of communities affected by the break-up of the coal-mining industry.

Mr Jack replied: "I would remind you that it is the government that is in charge and they are the ones who are going to be answering on this debate tonight."

But Mr Campbell refused to drop the issue and returned on a point of order.

"I asked you a question and I haven't got the answer yet and I think I'm entitled and the mining community is entitled to the answer to that question," he said.

This caused the first intervention from the Deputy Speaker, who was presiding over the debate.

Mr Lord asked: "Can the House calm down a little bit?"

Mr Jack then riled his adversary further by saying: "If this was a debate about mining perhaps we could have a debate about it. But it is a debate about the countryside."

The Labour backbencher then repeatedly called the Tory MP: "Hypocrite, hyprocrite ..."

The Deputy Speaker said: "You should not use words like that and I would ask you to withdraw that word."

But Mr Campbell shouted: "I will not withdraw the word hypocrite because that's what they are."

After a second request to withdraw the remark, Mr Campbell said: "I'm sorry Deputy Speaker, I will not withdraw. They are nothing but hypocrites and I remember the mining communities fighting for their communities in the countryside and we got nothing."

He was then ordered out of the House and left without further comment.

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