“I was not asleep during Afghanistan debate” says Ealing North MP

14:57 18 September 2012

Labour MP Stephen Pound (right) has said he was not sleeping while Denis MacShane spoke in the House of Commons during an emergency debate on Afghanistan yesterday. Picture: PA Wire

Labour MP Stephen Pound (right) has said he was not sleeping while Denis MacShane spoke in the House of Commons during an emergency debate on Afghanistan yesterday. Picture: PA Wire

An MP who looked like he was dozing off during an emergency debate on Afghanistan has admitted the pictures look “awful” but insists he did not fall asleep.

Footage of Stephen Pound showed him lowering his head while his eyes were seemingly shut a number of times during the urgent question yesterday following another spate of “green on blue” killings.

The Labour MP, who represents Ealing North, was sitting behind colleague Denis MacShane, the MP who had forced Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to the House to answer MPs’ questions, when he appeared to nod off.

Mr Pound’s head bowed particularly when Mr MacShane began quoting from the poem Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen.

The MP admitted the pictures did not look good but said the angle of the shots made it appear that he had taken a nap when he was actually checking his phone.

He said he had received a number of “aggressive” emails overnight accusing him of being disrespectful to British troops but insisted that was not the case.

Mr Pound said: “I just don’t understand what this is all about. I had actually been on my feet at 3.30pm, I was talking in local government questions, and I was on the radio at 3.50pm.

“The pictures are awful. I was actually looking down at my phone.

“I didn’t fall asleep in the Chamber, particularly not in such a sensitive discussion as that. I was obviously looking at my phone.

“Never in a million years would I be disrespectful, particularly on an occasion like that.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Includes a ‘Reasons I want to marry Harry Styles’ journal. You have been warned.

Read more

Midsomer Murders’ Neil Dudgeon has admitted DCI Barnaby’s new baby daughter Betty is hard work.

Read more

Joaquin Phoenix has compared picking film roles to dating.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Nothing says

iWOOT has a great selection of quirky Valentine’s Day gifts for every possible person and partner.

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

TOP Stories

Fri, 17:50
Even foxes needs a quick pick-me-up every now and again

Shocked coffee-drinkers at the BBC were joined by a fox who dropped in to the branch of Caffé Nero at New Broadcasting House.

Fri, 16:44
Cyclist Victor Ben-Rodriguez was killed after being hit by a lorry at Ludgate Circus on April 3 2014 (Picture: Twitter/@G4Lycra)

A man has been charged with the death of cyclist Victor Ben-Rodriguez, who was killed after being hit by a lorry at Ludgate Circus in the City.

Fri, 15:58
London's Air Ambulance [Photograph by John Power]

The London Air Ambulance landed in Avery Hill Park this afternoon to treat a critically inured man.

London Bloggers

Monday, December 22, 2014
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.