MP for Aylesbury David Lidington took the place of Theresa May taking Prime Ministers’ Questions today.
In his role as Leader of the House of Commons, Mr Lidington took questions on a range of issues, including the effects of Brexit on Northern Ireland and the planned strike by RMT workers over the Christmas period.
In response to questions from the Labour Party on how the government is going to deal with the strike, Mr Lidington said: “This party Mr Speaker is on the side of rail passengers and I hope that the party opposite will join me in saying ‘stop the squabbling’.”
Mr Lidington also took a series of questions from Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who asked direct questions on whether Britain would stay in the Customs Union after Brexit, and whether parliament would see the government’s plan for leaving the European Union before Article 50 is triggered.
Mr Lidington said: “The honourable lady and I both argued passionately for the Remain cause, but what separates us now is that I am part of a Conservative government that is working together to respect the democratic decision.”
At one point the debates got heated with many MPs shouting and jeering at the other party’s answers.
This prompted Speaker of the House of Commons and Buckingham MP John Bercow to say: “If juvenile behaviour can stop it would be very helpful to the scrutiny process.”
Prime Minister Theresa May is currently in Bahrain on a political visit in which she is expected to address leaders on human rights issues.