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A Member Of The UK's Parliament Grabbed The Mace And That's A Really Big Deal

"Oh it's all kicking off now!"

Last updated on December 11, 2018, at 1:41 a.m. ET

Posted on December 10, 2018, at 6:42 p.m. ET

With a looming Brexit vote and a potential leadership crisis for Prime Minister Theresa May, politics in the United Kingdom has been pretty wild lately.

Matt Dunham / AP

But shit really hit the fan Monday — Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a member of Parliament, grabbed the mace!

Here is @lloyd_rm grabbing the mace just now

Wait, the...what?

Fox / Via

This is the mace.

Oli Scarff / Getty Images

Okay, to be accurate: There are a few maces, and they've been around Parliament since the 1600s. In the House of Commons, the 5-foot gilt rod is carried in every day and placed on a table.

The big, shiny stick is a symbol of royal authority, and without it, the members of Parliament aren't allowed to meet or pass laws.

Perhaps more importantly, no one is supposed to touch the mace except the serjeant at arms for the House — or their deputy.

So when Russell-Moyle just waltzed over and grabbed it Monday, in a gesture of disgust with the government, other MPs were aghast.

@dcakraemer / Twitter

"Put it back!" "Nay!" "Ridiculous!"

Britain to the world: We are a noble, respected and extremely advanced democracy Also Britain: Oh it’s all kicking off now, they’ve grabbed the big mace!

It got ROWDY.

This is the UK right now, as far as I can determine from my timeline.

A British guide to levels of chaos: Error Confusion Fuck-up Calamity Omnishambles Catastrofuck Brexit Man grabbing the Mace in Parliament

Parliamentary buffs tried to make clear to the rest of us what a big fucking deal it was.

People of the world. This is U.K. parliament at its finest. MP walks off with gold shiny thing, men in tights calmly take it off him and put it back. Everyone watching (including me) is like ‘WHAT?!? NOT THE MACE!!’

Goodness me - if you are in my nerd world this is a really, really big deal - like throwing your drink over all of your mates in the pub cos you don't like the tone of the conversation, and smashing all the glasses

The important context that you have to understand here is that the Mace is like Thor's hammer. Not just anybody can pick it up - for most of us, it would appear bolted to the floor. But Lloyd Russell-Moyle is no mortal man

Just look at how incensed these guys were!

The angle of these dudes outraged at the nicking of the mace

Basically, the mace is the key to all power, right?

Prediction: Corbyn vaults over the front bench and grabs the mace. Twats Theresa May with it, holds it aloft and decrees “I have the power!” Brexit and austerity cancelled, new golden age of peace and prosperity ushered in. Make it so.

Is the mace thing at all different from the spirit stick in Bring it On or no?

Within a matter of seconds, the mace was back in its rightful hands and was marched back to the table.

@BBC / Twitter

And Russell-Moyle was told to GTFO of Parliament for the day.

#Breaking Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton Kemptown) has been ordered to leave the House of Commons for the day after picking up the ceremonial mace.

(He went to a pub, naturally.)

Where does any self respecting MP go when he's been suspended for grabbing the Commons ceremonial Mace in a protest at Govt postponing Brexit vote? @lloyd_rm is in The Red Lion pub, hailed like a hero. How very British.

And he stood by his special stick-grabbing act of protest.

Thankfully they haven’t locked me in the Tower of London but if they had I’d expect May to be in the cell next to me for her treatment of Parliament today. I’m allowed back tomorrow after my symbolic protest against this government, wish May wasn’t allowed back.


Only the serjeant at arms for the House of Commons — or their deputy — can touch the mace. An earlier version of this post misidentified who has the authority to do this.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.