Chuntering from a sedentary position

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, likes to pick up on members who ‘chunter from a sedentary position’ – a slightly politer, and perhaps archaic, way of saying ‘shut up and stop muttering’.

Here are some examples from the past few years. You can listen to the audio here:

External link to audio

Example 1

or- order
we cannot have people chuntering from a sedentary position
particularly when they have already spoken
we have heard the honourable lady
we know what she wanted to say
and we are most grateful to her for that
we don’t need sedentary chuntering
it is not helpful and it is unseemly
stop it 

Example 2

the honourable gentleman’s sedentary chuntering 
would constitute a book in itself
and it might sell rather well
topical questions
Emma Reynolds 

Example 3

the honourable gentleman the member for Gainsborough
is chuntering from a sedentary position to no obvious benefit or purpose
for the simple reason
that I have not the foggiest idea from this distance
what he’s chuntering about 

Example 4

well actually there are people on both sides
chuntering from a sedentary position
certainly not something I ever remember doing myself
when I was on the back benches

Example 5

the honourable gentleman the member for Huddersfield
is an extremely senior and cerebral member of the house
keeps chuntering from a sedentary position
about buried money
just in case colleagues hadn’t heard what he was chuntering about
but anyway
it would be good if he ceased chuntering


House of Commons



  1. How do you feel about the Banksy artwork with all the chimps in the house of commons. Feels sometimes like it is a bunch of chimps chuntering from a sedentary position.

  2. Forgot to say, nice post.

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