Brexiteer drifts off to Ken Clarke speech a second time

PUBLISHED: 16:02 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 29 January 2019

Sir Desmond Swayne drifts off in the House of Commons behind Ken Clarke. Photograph: Parliament Live.

Sir Desmond Swayne drifts off in the House of Commons behind Ken Clarke. Photograph: Parliament Live.

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An MP who drifted off to Ken Clarke’s Brexit speech last year has been caught dozing again - despite promising not to.

Brexiteer Sir Desmond Swayne was caught drifting off as Father of the House Ken Clarke delivered a speech in defence of the backstop and why the government should seek an extension to Article 50.

He said he also feared where the government was headed if it continues to pander to populism.

Clarke told the Commons: “This is an almost unique political crisis. The public at the moment are looking upon our political system with something near to contempt.

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“In the last month or two I have listened to what I - as a fairly experienced member here now - consider extraordinary nonsense about sweeping away centuries of tradition and destroying our procedures.”

He added: “If this shambles goes on much longer I hate to think where populism and extremism will take us next in this democracy.”

While many praised Clarke’s speech there were some in the Commons who were less than impressed.

Sir Desmond was spotted by viewers of BBC Parliament closing his eyes and his head falling forward as people tuned in to see the speech.

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It is not the first time Desmond Swayne has fallen asleep listening to Ken Clarke. He told the BBC that it would not happen again when it happened last year.

“I dozed off for 30 seconds,” he told BBC 5 live. “That is the extent of it. It happened. It won’t happen again.”

One tweeted: “Theresa May says the public want them to get on with Brexit but Desmond Swayne just wants to go to sleep - Conservatives must be so proud of their MPs.”

Another said: “It’s only Brexit ...nothing important, you have a little nap if want.”

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