A peer who likened Theresa May’s approach to Brexit to that of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany should withdraw his “disgusting” remarks, a Tory former minister has said.
Robert Halfon, who is Jewish, said the comments by Liberal Democrat Lord Roberts of Llandudno were “shameful for our Parliament” and “completely unacceptable”.
Lord Roberts stoked controversy during the report stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on Monday night, where he pressed for strengthening Parliament’s role in the Brexit process.
He was critical of the Prime Minister’s “reluctance” to allow parliamentary involvement and claimed she wanted the Government “to be in charge”.
Mr Halfon, raising a point of order in the Commons, said: “Last night in the House of Lords, Lord Roberts said: ‘My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933 when the enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag, which transferred the democratic right from Parliament into the hands of one man – that was the Chancellor, and his name was Adolf Hitler.’
“Now, as someone who is Jewish, and someone who is very proud of our Parliament, I find these remarks absolutely disgusting and shameful.
“It’s shameful for our country, it’s shameful for our Parliament and completely unacceptable.”
He asked the Commons Speaker John Bercow to advise him of “ways that this House can send a message to that peer that this trivialisation of evil is unacceptable and he should withdraw those remarks?”
Mr Bercow suggested he write to the peer, and said: “I’m sorry to have to say to him, but I do, that the Speaker of this House has no role in policing or overseeing utterances in the other place and I don’t think it is for me formally to take the matter forward.
“However, (Mr Halfon) received strong support from colleagues for what he said and if he wishes to write to the Noble Lord and to enclose a copy of what he has said in this chamber I think he will feel that he has done the right thing and it may elicit a response.
“I think we should always speak with great care and sensitivity in either House.”