The National:

THE speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, is lucky to be in one of the few jobs where he can’t get sacked.

Hoyle was made speaker in 2019 after John Bercow stepped down – and he’s been making a right hash of it ever since.

The former Labour man has struggled with MPs calling out a prime minister who is a proven liar. He went so far as to decide that even asking Boris Johnson if he is a liar is a step too far.

Hoyle has also taken exception to MPs wearing anything but the strictly formal dress code he put in place.

The son of a Labour peer further made headlines after banning clapping (as well as chanting and singing) in the Commons.

Hoyle was gladly enforcing that particular rule just two weeks ago.

Tory MP Gary Sambrook was telling that chamber that Johnson “constantly tries to deflect” and “always tries to blame other people” for his own failings.

The Conservative backbencher, who holds a key role on the 1922 Committee, ended his speech by calling for Johnson to resign.

The call for the prime minister to step down, coming from his own party, prompted applause from the opposition benches.

Hoyle was furious.

“Order, order!” he raged. “Can I just say you ought to be embarrassed by clapping. This is not a debating society, this is prime minister’s questions.”

Punctuating his speech with glares at offending MPs, Hoyle said the way to do things was “not by clapping”.

But for all his rage, Hoyle now seems to have forgotten his own rules.

The speaker sat in silence on Wednesday as benches filled with raucous Tory MPs gave the prime minister they ousted a standing ovation.

Hoyle even saw fit to give the outgoing prime minister a sly nod on his way out.

Asked if the speaker was just making the rules up as he went along, the House of Commons press office told the Jouker that “the handbook on rules of behaviour and courtesies in the Chamber says clapping is not generally allowed”.

They even provided a link to that handbook.

The problem? It doesn’t say that.

READ MORE: Speaker should have ‘dealt with Prime Minister’ instead, protesting Alba MP says

What the rules – which Hoyle wrote – actually say is: “Singing and chanting are not permitted in the Chamber.

“Clapping is also not allowed as it eats into the time available for debate and, as the Modernisation Committee pointed out, ‘there is a danger that such a practice might be open to abuse and could lead in certain circumstances to orchestration of what would amount to standing ovations …’”

When the Jouker pointed this out, the House of Commons confirmed that the rules are actually different to the ones in the handbook.

They said clapping is allowed in certain circumstances, such as a prime minister’s final PMQs.

Alba leader Alex Salmond told the Jouker that Hoyle should make his mind up.

The former first minister said: “Any democrat will be increasingly concerned by erratic behaviour from the chair. Last week he threw away the rule book by suspending the two Alba MPs AFTER already ordering them from the Chamber. Today his appeal for calm and decorum looked ridiculous given his own near hysterical conduct last week.

"On clapping he has to make his mind up. He can’t condemn it from the opposition and alllow it by the Government. He needs to either ban it or permit it. He is required to be impartial not to play favourites."