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MP James Gray gives House of Commons the silent treatment
10:58am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
MP James Gray briefly left House of Commons speechless this morning after microphones failed during the first 10 minutes of debate.
Ministers, backbenchers and spectators in the gallery were left straining to hear as Conservative Mr Gray, MO for North Wiltshire, rose to his feet to ask about the number of new railway stations since privatisation at the beginning of Transport questions.
The lack of sound caused a flurry of behind-the-scenes panic as Hansard reporters and journalists struggled to make out the whispered exchanges across the floor.
After a few minutes, Commons Speaker John Bercow called "Order",
stating: "The House will have noticed the microphones aren't working. I gather that these matters are being attended to."
To laughter from the benches, he added that he thought members would have no trouble in making themselves heard.
BBC Parliament temporarily broadcast proceedings with no sound, posting a written message at the bottom of the screen saying: "We apologise for the loss of sound."
The microphones were eventually switched back on without fanfare, prompting sighs of relief all round.