British member of Parliament falls asleep during House of Commons debate

ABCNews.com(LONDON) — It’s never a good idea to take a nap at work.

On Tuesday, Sir Desmond Swayne, a British lawmaker, was caught red-handed for all the world to see. Desmond, 62, fell asleep during a debate on Brexit in the House of Commons. And this was not just a quick shutting of the eyes; Swayne was sprawled out almost horizontally. Swayne eventually opened his eyes, realizing he might be in full view on the House of Commons cameras. He quickly adjusted his position, looking ever so slightly embarrassed.

Swayne is not the first British lawmaker caught sleeping on the job, and undoubtedly he won’t be the last. In fact, some people have become so outraged by the phenomenon that an online petition was started two years ago to fire MPs who fall asleep.

“It is an insult to us the people. How dare they show such disregard for their position and the things that matter in our lives,” the petition says.

In 2012 lawmaker Stephen Pound, after seemingly to fall asleep during a rather sensitive debate on Afghanistan, initially insisted he was checking his cellphone — a line of defense that might be a little difficult for Swayne to use.

Swayne did apologize later, blaming an early morning swim.

 

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