A Labour former minister has urged the Commons deputy speaker to launch an investigation after he saw MPs being “physically manhandled” and “bullied” into the voting lobby.
His allegations came after the Government won a vote in Parliament on fracking it had earlier told Tory MPs it was treating as a confidence vote.
Labour’s motion was defeated by 230 votes to 326, majority 96, but the vote descended into chaos with Commons deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Laing at some point asking to investigate the delay in the No lobby.
After the vote was announced, Chris Bryant urged her to investigate the “scenes outside the entrance to the No lobby” and alleged MPs were “bullied” and “physically manhandled” to vote.
Raising a point of order, the MP for Rhondda said: “I would urge you to launch an investigation into the scenes outside the entrance to the No lobby earlier.
“As you know, members are expected to be able to vote without fear or favour and the behaviour code which is agreed by the whole of the House says there shall never be bullying or harassment.
“I saw members being physically manhandled into another lobby and being bullied.
“If we want to stand up against bullying in this House of our staff, we have to stop bullying in this chamber as well.”
Dame Eleanor replied: “The honourable member raises an important matter about behaviour and he knows better than anyone else that we have an extremely good system for it for investigating allegations of bullying, intimidation or bad behaviour.
“And if the honourable gentleman cares to bring evidence and facts to me, I will make sure that the matter is properly investigated.”
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mog said he did not see any bullying when the fracking vote took place in Parliament
He told the PA news agency: “I didn’t see any bullying. There were discussions going on, and there was a discussion about the vote that was taking place, and this was what normally goes on outside the division lobby.
“I heard one person swear and use an expletive… a Conservative when going into the division lobby, swear and say, sort of ‘get on with it’, but he wasn’t saying it to an individual.”
Rees-Mogg added: “I didn’t see any bullying and I saw nobody being manhandled.
Asked if this is a Government functioning well, he said: “This is a Government that is functioning well.”
Asked if he was confident he saw everything that happened, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Nobody can claim they have seen everything, even Chris Bryant doesn’t have omnisight if there is such a word.”
Therese Coffey denied she “manhandled” Tory MPs to force them to support the Government in the fracking vote, according to sources close to the Deputy Prime Minister.