LONDON, U.K. — State Senator Ryan Weld had been a big fan of streaming House of Commons sessions from London early in the morning in Wellsburg, West Virginia, but last Wednesday he got to experience the real thing.
Weld (R – Brooke, 01) and his wife Alex headed to London last week and got to experience part of Parliament in the U.K. firsthand. Those who have watched these sessions before know that they aren’t the most quiet and calm meetings.
“It’s interesting because when you’re watching it online you can hear that there’s jeering in the back and some shouts but you can’t specifically hear what they’re yelling,” Weld said in an interview with MetroNew’s “Talkine”. “But, sitting there we were about to hear what people were yelling and it was a little more entertaining.”
The session got out of control fairly quickly, and House of Commons Speaker John Bercow had to remind his fellow members that they needed to be on their best behavior for their guests from the U.S.
Weld said that members of the House of Commons began looking around for the guest and could tell it was him and his wife due to their faces being red with embarrassment.
BBC News found out that a state senator from West Virginia was visiting and wanted to talk with Weld about his experience watching part of Parliament run.
“It was really surprising. Apparently they were intrigued by who the American state senator was so they tracked us down,” he said. “We were just walking around London doing a little shopping, and one of the producers called and asked if I would be interested in being on the show that evening.”
Next thing Weld knew, he was in the BBC newsroom.
“It was an amazing place; I mean their newsroom is massive where they do their work and so it was a little intimidating,” he said. “I’ve yet to be on American national media, but I guess I can check the box that I’ve been on the British media.”
Weld said that the back and forth dynamic that exists in the House of Commons was foreign to him but that it works.
“It’s a terrific give and take. The Prime Minister has the opportunity to present his or her case on basically every policy that they’re enacting, and we don’t have that in the States,” he said.
Weld and his wife even got to talk with Bercow and introduce themselves before the session got started.
“We had the opportunity to meet the speaker prior their floor sessions,” he added. “We also presented him with a gift from the state of West Virginia, which is a big reason we wanted to have a few minutes.”
Weld is currently still in London finishing the rest of his vacation.
Story by Jordyn Johnson