Britain's Clegg slams 'tedious' parliamentary debate

19th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

british Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a scathing attack Monday on the parliament's main weekly debate, saying it was a display of "tedious, ghastly, predictable tribalism".

An earnest young delegate had asked Clegg at his Liberal Democrat party's annual conference in Birmingham if he agreed that the jeering by lawmakers during prime minister's question time was "childish and irresponsible".

The question provoked laughs from the floor, but sparked a passionate response from Lib Dem leader Clegg, who described question time as "19th century, male, testosterone-fuelled, yaboo, tedious, shrill yelling".

"The only saving grace is that most people actually don't watch prime minister's questions... this display of tedious, ghastly, predictable tribalism," he said.

PMQs, as question time is known, is a weekly half-hour debate held on Wednesday when lawmakers and the leader of the opposition can put questions to the prime minister.

It is often rowdy, with lawmakers jeering and shouting over each other.

As leader of the third largest party in the House of Commons, Clegg had a constitutional right to speak during PMQs but often struggled to be heard over the noisy mocking of colleagues.

He lost this when the Lib Dems entered government with Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives in May 2010.

© 2011 AFP

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