Behaviour of MPs in the House cartoon

Like salaries and 'perks', the behaviour of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the chamber of the House has featured prominently in cartoons. The 19th-century politician Robert Stout had a reputation for being a windbag and talking endlessly in convoluted and erudite speeches that drove his colleagues to distraction. The time that MPs were allotted to speak became progressively shorter. The standing orders limited it to 30 minutes in 1894, and over the course of the 20th century, MPs had less and less time to speak – just five to ten minutes from the mid-1990s. But of course, formal speeches are just one opportunity to speak in the House. Rightly or wrongly, question time has dominated the public perception of the House in action from the 1970s, and cartoonists were adept at highlighting its tempestuous nature.

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