Wales politics

AM told to remove her hand from her hip in assembly chamber

Eluned Parrott with hand on hip
Image caption Eluned Parrott before she was asked to remove her hand from her hip by the presiding officer

An AM was told to take her hand off her hip while speaking in the assembly.

Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler called Liberal Democrat Eluned Parrott to order and then said: "Will you ask the question and take your hand off your hip please?"

It happened during noisy exchanges in the chamber about cuts in funding for music lessons in schools.

South Wales Central AM Ms Parrott did as she was asked, then carried on grilling Education Minister Huw Lewis.

The Liberal Democrats have condemned Dame Rosemary's behaviour.

"It is not the presiding officer's place to tell assembly members how they should stand," a spokesman said.

"Eluned was asking legitimate questions of the minister and at no point did she use unparliamentary language."

"It's therefore disappointing that this intervention was made, especially as the minister failed to properly answer the questions asked of him."

The spokesman added: "It is the presiding officer's role to enable assembly members to hold ministers to account."

No complaint

Responding to the criticism, Dame Rosemary told BBC Wales she did not think the incident was "worth talking about".

"I kept order in the chamber, I asked Eluned Parrott to remove her hand and she did and she carried on," she said.

"The Liberal Democrats haven't complained to me, they've put stuff out in the press I understand."

Debates in the Senedd chamber were generally "taken part in [with] good behaviour", Dame Rosemary said.

"When it doesn't happen I say something."

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