Fights Break Out in Hong Kong Legislature as Lawmakers Battle Over Control of House Committee

A meeting of the Hong Kong Legislative Council’s House Committee descended into chaos on May 8, as scuffles broke out over who should preside. Several opposition lawmakers were removed from the meeting, including one on a stretcher.

In extraordinary scenes, rival legislators made a dash for the podium seat after pro-Beijing DAB party leader and incumbent House Committee chairwoman Starry Lee claimed it an hour before the meeting was due to start.

Scuffles broke out as Lee, flanked by security, called the meeting to order. The guards carried out several pro-democracy lawmakers, including Eddie Chu and Ray Chan, who were ordered to leave due to disorderly conduct.

Several more lawmakers were then removed, including the Democratic Party’s Andrew Wan, who was removed on a stretcher after apparently injuring himself.

Friday’s assembly was the 17th unsuccessful meeting held to elect a new chair of the House Committee. The pro-Beijing camp has accused pro-democracy figure and deputy House Committee chairman Dennis Kwok of stalling the process and thus holding up a number of bills, including a controversial proposal to enforce “respect” for the Chinese national anthem. Credit: Legislative Council of Hong Kong via Storyful