Three North East MPs are among more than 60 MPs who have now signed a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker after angry scenes in the Commons on Wednesday.

Sedgefield MP Paul Howell, Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy and Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer - all Conservatives - put their names to the “early day motion” proposed by senior Tory William Wragg in a move intended to pressure the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, to step down.

This evening (Thursday, Februarhy 22), the total number of signatures stood at 67, including Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, former Tory deputy chairmen Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn and his deputy Mhairi Black.The Northern Echo: Sedgefield MP Paul Howell Sedgefield MP Paul Howell (Image: Northern Echo)

More than half of the SNP’s Westminster contingent have signed the motion, reflecting anger in the party at the Speaker’s handling of its opposition day motion on Wednesday, while 39 Conservatives and one Independent, former Tory Rob Roberts, have joined them.

Environmental Audit Committee chair Philip Dunne appeared to have signed the motion but then withdrew his signature shortly afterwards.The Northern Echo: Blyth Valley MP Ian LevyBlyth Valley MP Ian Levy (Image: Northern Echo)

As an early day motion, it is very unlikely to be debated on the floor of the Commons, but a large number of signatures could signify that the Speaker has lost the confidence of the House and persuade him to step down.

There does not appear to be a formal mechanism for removing a Speaker, with previous holders of the office only being replaced on their resignation or death, but it would be difficult for him to carry on if a significant number of MPs called for him to go or he lost a confidence vote in the Commons.

In 2009, Speaker Michael Martin was effectively forced to resign over his handling of the MPs’ expenses scandal, the first Speaker to be forced out in more than 300 years.The Northern Echo: Hartlepool MP Jill MortimerHartlepool MP Jill Mortimer (Image: Northern Echo)

On that occasion, only 23 MPs signed an “unprecedented” motion calling for him to step down, which he did only days after the motion was published.

But while fewer MPs signed the 2009 motion, signatories came from all three main parties and a succession of other backbenchers from across the Commons publicly told Mr Martin to resign.

In the current case, only Conservative and SNP MPs have signed the motion, while Mr Flynn is the only party leader to have called for Sir Lindsay to resign.