Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

David Carter ejects Labour MPs from the House

Speaker, David Carter. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Speaker, David Carter. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Speaker David Carter has ejected MPs from the House for the first time, kicking out Labour's Trevor Mallard and Chris Hipkins this afternoon.

Mr Mallard was told to leave the debating chamber after telling Mr Carter to "sit down 'til I'm finished" during question time.

Party whip Mr Hipkins was ejected immediately after attempting to repeat Mr Mallard's point of order.

The MPs had accused the Speaker of treating Prime Minister John Key more leniently than Opposition MPs.

They had been offended by Prime Minister John Key's statement that Government Communications Security Bureau director Ian Fletcher's brother was "way brighter" than Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson.

Mr Key was asked to withdraw his comments, but only after the urging of Green Party co-leader Russel Norman.

Mr Mallard told reporters afterwards that Mr Carter had begun his tenure well in February, but had become increasingly biased.

He urged Mr Carter to meet with previous Speakers such as Lockwood Smith to educate himself on how to control the House.

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee said Speakers were traditionally more lenient on the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

He said the ejections were warranted: "All Speakers have to stamp their authority on the House at some point."

He said Mr Carter was doing a "very good" job and Mr Mallard's arguments were "political posturing" because he had wanted the Speaker role himself.

Last week, Dr Norman wrote an open letter to the Speaker warning that question time would become increasingly chaotic if ministers were not made to answer direct questions.

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- NZ Herald

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