MPs told off over Commons keepy-uppy

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Hannah Bardell MP

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Five MPs posed in the Commons chamber in their football tops on Tuesday evening

A group of MPs have been reprimanded for playing football in the chamber of the House of Commons.Hannah Bardell posted a video on social media of herself playing keepy-uppy in the parliament after the sitting was adjourned on Tuesday evening. The SNP MP also posed for photographs in the Commons with other MPs including former sports minister Tracey Crouch.Speaker John Bercow said the “historic chamber should not be used for this type of activity”.However he said that several members involved had apologised, and that there were “no hard feelings”.Ms Bardell and Ms Crouch, a Conservative MP, had been due to play for the UK Women’s Parliamentary Football Club on Tuesday, but the match was cancelled amid concerns it would clash with votes in the Commons. The MPs later took photographs in the chamber wearing their football tops, with Ms Bardell filmed playing keepy-uppy between the green benches.In a statement to the Commons on Wednesday, Mr Bercow said: “It has been brought to my attention that some football skills were displayed in the chamber yesterday evening after the House rose.”I am informed that the doorkeepers on duty told the members concerned that the chamber was not the place for this activity, however, those doorkeepers were advised that permission had been given.”Let me assure the House that that permission certainly did not come from me.”Mr Bercow said he had received “gracious, indeed fulsome” letters of apology from Ms Crouch and Labour MPs Stephanie Peacock and Louise Haigh.Another Labour MP, Alison McGovern, was also pictured wearing her football top in the chamber.He added: “I think I can speak for us all when I say that our historic chamber should not be used for this type of activity and I gently remind colleagues if they are seeking to use the chamber outside of sitting hours beyond for the purpose of simply showing it to guests, frankly they should write to me asking for their request to be considered.”I have said what I have said, there are no hard feelings and I consider the matter to be closed.”

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