In extraordinary scenes, the House of Commons today descended into scenes of agrave disorder’ as Supply Speaker Craig Timmins, hired from an agency to replace, at short notice, the indisposed Speaker of the House John Bercow, completely failed to control MPs and was described by one senior backbencher as ‘A complete knobhole.’
Mr Timmins, a Media Studies graduate from Hartlepool, doing supply Speakering in his gap year, began Prime Minister’s Question Time by asking the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to take his trainers off the Speakers Desk. Mr Balls replied ‘Berky lets us do it.’ Labour leader Ed Milliband then drew Mr Timmins attention to the fact that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was making hand shandy gestures behind Mr Timmins back.
Mr Timmins told the house that he was ‘Prepared to wait as long as it took’, eventually suspending the sitting, warning MPs that ‘Letters would be going home’ and inviting Members to have ‘A long think’ about their actions. Several members of the Post-16 Education & Training Sub-Committee were later seen using a stanley knife to carve the word BELLEND onto Mr Timmins Fiat Uno.