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Published on Dec 7, 2008
This video includes the door of the House of Commons being slammed on the face of Black Rod (the Queen's representative) to symbolise the independence of the elected House of Commons from the monarchy. This ritual is derived from what happened when the attempt by Charles I to arrest five MPs in 1642, in what was seen as a breach of privilege. After that incident, the House of Commons has maintained its right to question the right of the monarch's representative to enter their chamber, though they can not bar him from entering with lawful authority. In recent years, Black Rod been heckled by the outspoken Labour MP Dennis Skinner who this time asked "Are there any Tory moles at the palace?"