'I'll treasure Zelenskyy's jet helmet and use it when the Commons gets rowdy!' Hoyle jokes after 'amazing' speech

9 February 2023, 09:04 | Updated: 9 February 2023, 09:18

Sir Linsday will treasure his fighter jet helmet
Sir Linsday will treasure his fighter jet helmet. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will treasure the white fighter jet helmet gifted to him by Volodymyr Zelenskyy – as he described the atmosphere during his speech as a unique and historic occasion.

Ukraine's president gave him the helmet during his speech at Westminster Hall, which had written on its side: "We have freedom. Give us Wings to protect it."

Mr Zelenskyy wants the West to arm him with fighter jets to give it an edge against Russia's military as it seeks to retake more ground when large-scale offensives recommence later in the year.

Sir Lindsay joked on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "They were actually going to put it on display in Speaker's House, so when I'm walking on to the chamber I can quickly put it on.

Read more: 'He's the best': Ukrainians react to Zelenskyy's visit to the UK

"Ive got to tell you, there'll be a lot of jealousy in my family. My son in law is a pilot, my grandson is mad about planes, and when they visit Speaker's House it's going to have a pride of display.

"As you say, when it gets a bit out of hand in the chamber I can always put the helmet on as well."

He added: "[Mr Zelenskyy] was quite clear – I need more. He requested tanks and he's gathering Europe for support.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle reveals when he could wear the helmet Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave him

"It's for others to decide and that is the key. Parliament will make a decision, other parliaments in Europe will make decisions.

"We've got to decide – do we win or do we lose."

Mr Zelenskyy spoke at in the glow of the huge window at Westminster Hall – one of the remaining structures of the old Palace of Westminster.

Read more: Send Ukraine jets and you're responsible for the consequences: Putin's chilling threat to UK after Zelenskyy's plea

He arrived to huge applause from MPs and peers from the House of Lords before he was introduced by Sir Lindsay.

"I've seen many events but not like this day. I've seen nothing like it, the electrification and that moment when he came in, it was the feel, you could feel both houses coming together and absolutely as one," Sir Lindsay said.

"It was like a football crowd, those people weren't in seats, they were stood, they wanted to get nearer to the front. It was quite amazing."

Sir Lindsay was given the helmet during the speech
Sir Lindsay was given the helmet during the speech. Picture: Alamy

He added: "Parliament was in awe of this president that's on the front line of his country, defending democracy and the sovereign rights and standing there in front of everybody.

"Parliament can be a pretty awful place to keep in order, but you could hear a pin drop until the moment he walked in. The applause when he walked in was so moving, with almost 1,000 years of history in Westminster Hall, he created new history yesterday.

“It was a privilege to be there.”

Mr Zelenskyy visited Britain on Wednesday to meet with King Charles, Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian troops who are being trained by the UK.

He later travelled Paris on Thursday and will appeal to the EU for more support.

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