The Prime Minister was silenced by a classic lockdown gaffe this afternoon, when he appeared to be put on mute while talking over Zoom. 

MPs laughed and the public watched on bemused as Boris Johnson saw his live address to the House of Commons from self-isolation in Downing Street interrupted by the technical glitch. 

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle asked the PM if he had ‘pressed the button by mistake’ as he suddenly went quiet mid speech, while outlining how England would come out of its national lockdown on December 2. Mr Johnson continued speaking but nothing could be heard for a few seconds, as he told the nation live on television that there would be a return to a tiered system of restrictions.



Sir Lindsay suspended the sitting for three minutes to allow Mr Johnson to return to answer further questions from MPs, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock was forced to stand in as MPs joked about the incident over social media. 

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The Speaker shouted: ‘Have you pressed the button, Prime Minister… Prime Minister? 

‘I just think we are going to have to stop for a moment so we can have it checked. 

‘We are just checking the sound Prime Minister, we lost your answer, have you pressed the button by mistake?’

Someone else in the room then said something inaudible off camera, and the MPs present howled with laughter. 

Sir Lindsay added: ‘It is not our end Prime Minister, it could well be yours.’

Mr Hancock then deputised as the connection issues continued with Number 10, where the Prime Minister is based while he self-isolates under Test and Trace guidance.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders tweeted: ‘Turn it on and off again Boris!’

SNP MP Pete Wishart added: ‘Johnson’s been muted. An ancient nation rejoices….’

When he did finally return, Mr Johnson told MPs: ‘The problem does not appear to be our end, so I hope viewers will not think I’m in anyway trying to avoid scrutiny by honourable members.’

The PM said that sports, weddings and religious ceremonies could resume next week and said restrictions would be relaxed to allow households to mix at Christmas.

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