Next Speaker's challenge to restore order

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Media captionWatch: MPs voice their objection to the suspension in the Commons

In spectacular style, the lid on the parliamentary tensions over prorogation and Brexit blew off last night.

The normal Pythonesque courtliness of the prorogation ceremony, with its Norman French and doffing of cocked hats, dissolved into something much nastier.

Opposition peers boycotted proceedings at the Lords end, while in the Commons, the arrival of Black Rod to summon MPs to hear the royal proclamation was greeted with a melee around the Speaker's Chair.

Doorkeepers grappled to keep angry MPs from - I'm not sure what? Maybe they intended to physically prevent John Bercow from leaving his seat, to halt the prorogation altogether?

Then there was a sustained chant of "shame on you" as Conservative and DUP MPs filed out towards the Lords, reluctantly led by Mr Speaker, and all the other parties stayed put and sang songs, including Jerusalem and Scots Wha Hae.

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John Bercow's historic legacy as Speaker

John Bercow in the Speaker's Chair in April 2019 Image copyright EPA

So farewell then. John Bercow.

He has been that rare thing - a historically significant Speaker of the Commons, making rulings that have genuinely altered the course of events, and dramatically altering the public face of Parliament.

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One-day week for Parliament?

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Image caption This parliamentary session has almost ceased to be

This week should see the last rites performed over the tumultuous 2017-19 parliamentary session - with its knife-edge votes, collapse in party discipline and endless Brexit battles.

Perhaps as early as Monday night, a commission of Privy Councillors will don their ceremonial robes and hats for the Python-esque ritual which prorogues - or suspends - Parliament.

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Brexit: The Lords gear up for a battle over no-deal bill

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The government's modest band of supporters in the Lords are mounting a formidable filibuster operation to prevent the Benn Bill - the bill which aims to prevent no deal - getting to third reading before a possible prorogation of Parliament on Monday.

Labour and the Lib Dems had put down a business of the house motion which lays down a timetable for consideration of the bill.

Read full article Brexit: The Lords gear up for a battle over no-deal bill

Brexit: Parliament's next big drama

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Parliament increasingly resembles an episode of an over-heated soap opera.

You know the kind of thing: two main characters are getting married, the police are about to charge one of them with murder, an ex-lover is deciding whether to speak now or forever hold their peace, there are two serial killers at the reception, and the director keeps cutting to pictures of a leaking gas pipe in the cellar.

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A week of many moving parts?

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Image caption The PM and the Speaker could have a busy few days ahead

Fasten your safety belts - it's going to be a rough ride. This weekly lookahead is normally based on a pretty firm published agenda for the Lords, the Commons and the committees, and while there is indeed a detailed programme of events out there, much of it looks certain to be discarded as normal parliamentary business is consumed, once again, by Brexit.

At the moment the consensus seems to be a chain of events something like this will unfold:

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Boris Johnson: Can new PM deliver in the Commons?

Boris Johnson speaking for the first time as prime minister in the Commons Image copyright Reuters

There was a moment in Thursday's Commons sitting that crystallised the approach of Boris Johnson's new government.

Labour MP Gareth Snell asked the new Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, when the government was going to bring back the Trade Bill for MPs to consider.

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Week ahead in Parliament

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After this week's Commons defeat, the new prime minister due to kiss hands next week will be painfully aware of the troubles ahead.

A combination of abstentions and outright rebellion have imposed some awkward requirements on the government which could well prevent ministers from suspending - or "proroguing" - Parliament, in order to exit the EU without deal.

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Week ahead in Parliament

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Bullying and Brexit dominate Parliament this week, with a routine piece of Northern Ireland legislation suddenly caught up in efforts to forestall a no-deal Brexit, and MPs getting a chance to debate their latest reports on bullying and harassment in the world of Westminster.

I detail the Brexit manoeuvrings below, but they will involve both the Lords and Commons, in one of those bewilderingly intricate legislative dances when amendments bounce between the two houses.

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Votes emphasise government's precarious position

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Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Amidst stories of a whip getting stuck in the Commons lavatory or one of the new proxy votes being bungled, the government was defeated by a single vote on Tuesday night.

Read full article Votes emphasise government's precarious position