Peers given telling off for looking like they're having a snooze in the chamber

A shirty memo from the Government's chief whip in the Lords has been sent around complaining that the high standards of the upper chamber are not being met.

Some older members of the House of Lords are regularly seen to be "resting their eyes" during debates – and several MPs have suffered from the snoozes in the Commons too.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach wrote in an email to Tory peers: "It has been observed by members of our House that, over recent months, conduct in the chamber has not been of the standard we should expect."

He goes on to list a string of offences, including falling asleep in the chamber, audible conversations, and shouting from their seats, The Times reported.

The grievances have also been circulated with their opposition members on the Labour and Lib Dem benches too.

One Labour source confirmed they would be reminded of the rules. They told the paper: "Sometimes they really are closing their eyes.

"Others are leaning into the monitor to hear more closely and it looks like they've keeled over."

MPs have also been known to look as if they are having a kip too.

Earlier this year Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne nodded off right behind the cameras as Ken Clarke was speaking in front of him.

The Conservative MP for New Forest West tried to wake himself up by giving his head a shake, but tiredness overcame him and he could be seen slowly slipping down the green bench.

When Sir Desmond finally jerked awake after his forty winks he he smiled to himself, hiding a sheepish grin behind his hands.

The pair were talking about the EU Withdrawal Bill in the Commons, but Sir Desmond blamed an early morning swim for his tiredness and later apologised.




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