KEIR Starmer has broken his silence in the face of claims he threatened Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to select his party's amendment in the Gaza ceasefire debate.

The Labour leader “categorically” denied threatening the Commons Speaker after the amendment selection unleashed parliamentary chaos and avoided a Labour rebellion on Wednesday evening.

Hoyle is fighting for his job after being forced to apologise for breaking with “long-established convention” to allow a debate on a Labour amendment to an SNP opposition day motion

Both Tory and SNP MPs were left furious at the decision, with senior minister Penny Mordaunt giving a special statement in which she claimed Hoyle had “undermined” the House of Commons and said the Government would be boycotting the vote on a Gaza ceasefire as a result.

READ MORE: MPs sign no confidence motion in Speaker - see the full list

Labour’s amendment then passed without opposition, with the Speaker confirming he is to hold talks with party leaders to explain his decision.

Both Keir Starmer’s party and the deputy speaker Rosie Winterton refuted reports that Labour pressured Hoyle to allow their amendment to be debated, threatening to remove him from the Speaker’s chair after a General Election if he refused to do so.

Now, the Labour leader has said that he “simply urged” Hoyle to have “the broadest possible debate” by putting a number of options in front of MPs during the Gaza ceasefire debate.

The National:

Speaking at a train depot in Sussex he said: “I can categorically tell you that I did not threaten the Speaker in any way whatsoever. I simply urged to ensure that we have the broadest possible debate.

“So that actually the most important thing , which is what do we do about the situation in Gaza, could be properly discussed by MPs with a number of options in front of them.”

He added: “The Speaker did the right thing in making sure the debate was broad.

“But the tragedy is the SNP walked off the pitch because they wanted to divide the Labour Party and they couldn’t, and the Government walked off the pitch because it thought it was going to lose a vote.

“So we had one party that was simply seeking to divide on an important issue, the Government lost control of its own MPs and couldn’t control the votes.

“We should have had a proper debate and a proper resolution with all three propositions being put to a vote.”

On Thursday, the Commons Speaker offered the SNP the chance of an emergency debate amid calls for a vote of no confidence in him.

Responding to SNP leader Stephen Flynn, who said he had no confidence in the Speaker, Hoyle told the Commons: “I will reiterate I made a judgement call that didn’t end up in the position where I expected it to.

“I regret it. I apologise to the SNP… I apologise and I apologise to the House. I made a mistake. We do make mistakes. I own up to mine.

“I would say that we can have an SO24 (Standing Order 24) to get an immediate debate because the debate is so important to this House.

“I will defend every Member in this House. Every Member matters to me in this House.”

His voice faltering, Hoyle added: “And it has been said, both sides, I never ever want to go through a situation where I pick up a phone to find a friend, of whatever side, has been murdered by terrorists.”