Peer blocked from parliamentary debate after ‘falling asleep’ in House of Lords
Parliament TV

Politicians are servants of the people, but some have been unfortunate in serving up some Zs at work. too

From Joe Biden to Boris Johnson, even Vladimir Putin appear to have been spotted having a light kip.

Here are the eight times politicians appear to have been caught dozing off on the job:

Lord Young of Norwood Green - House of Lords (2022)

Lord Young of Norwood Green, was blocked from a debate in the House of Lords after being accused of falling asleep in the chamber.

The clip shows how Lord Young attempted to weigh in with his views on a bill allowing the UK to diverge from EU laws governing the genetic modification of crops.

However, he was soon interrupted by government whip Baroness Bloomfield who called him out and accused him of dozing off: “I am sorry, but the noble lord was fast asleep for the entire duration of the minister’s speech.

“He really should not participate in this debate having failed to take advantage of the ability to hear him.”

She added: “I am afraid the noble lord was fast asleep for the entirety of the minister’s opening speech… I had to send a note to you in order to wake you up, by the doorkeeper.”


Vladimir Putin – Bejing Winter Olympics (2022)

While the Russian invasion into Ukraine continues, tensions were clear earlier this year when Russian president Vladimir Putin appeared to awkwardly fall asleep at the Beijing Winter Olympics when athletes from Ukraine marched around the ceremony at Beijing’s National Stadium.

Footage panned on Putin shows him slumped in his chair slowly blinking as if he had just woken up from a nap.


Joe Biden - COP26 (2021)

World leaders gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 conference on climate change back in November and it appears US president Joe Biden could barely keep his eyes open appeared to fall asleep.

Perhaps the jetlag was catching up with the 78-year-old?

Though his seconds-long slumber was interrupted with he was woken up by an aide.


Boris Johnson - COP26 (2021)

Boris Johnson with his eyes closed at COP26Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Tiredness must have been contagious at COP26 because UK prime minister Boris Johnson was photographed with his eyes closed at one of the events – and he can’t exactly use the old jetlag excuse…

Sat maskless between David Attenborough and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, it appeared Johnson was getting some momentary shut-eye.

Although Number 10 claimed it was “total nonsense” to suggest Johnson had fallen asleep, The Mirrorreported – to be fair there are snaps of a fully awake PM wearing a mask too.


Ted Cruz - Joe Biden's joint session of Congress speech (2021)

While Donald Trump and Republicans attempted to nickname Joe Biden “Sleepy Joe” during the last election it seems one of their own was caught snoozing on the job.

Republican senator Ted Cruz from Texas got caught on camera falling asleep in the middle of Joe Biden’s speech to the joint session of Congress in April last year.

After the speech, Cruz took to Twitter to poke fun at himself, blaming his snoozing on Biden’s speech and declared the event as “#BoringButRadical.”


Eamon Ryan - Dail chamber (2020)

Leader of Ireland’s Green Party, Eamon Ryan was slammed after he appeared to nod off during a vote in the Dail chamber.

As his name was called out a number of times in the lower house of the Irish parliament, Ryan seemed to be blissfully unaware.

In the end, Fianna Fáil chief whip Jack Chamber had to wake him up as fellow politicians had a laugh.


Desmond Swayne - House of Commons (2018)

Conservative MP and Eurosceptic Sir Desmond Swayne appeared to fall asleep during a Brexit debate where pro-EU Tory MP Ken Clarke shared his thoughts on the government wanting to leave the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

In the 10-minute speech, as Clarke mocks the move Swayne can be seen slumped and leaning up against one side of the bench in the background.

A minute or so later, Swayne suddenly awoke with a sheepish grin on his face.


Ruther Bader Ginsburg - State of the Union address (2015)

Ruther Bader Ginsburg pictured having a snooze during the State of the Union addressPhoto by Alex Wong/Getty Images

During her time as a Supreme Court Justice, the late Ruther Bader Ginsburg perhaps listened to countless speeches throughout her career.

So who could honestly blame the-then 81-year-old when she was caught on camera dozing off during Barack Obama’s State of Union Address.

Ginsburg hilariously admitted after-the-fact the reason for her sleepiness.

“The audience for the most part is awake because they are bobbing up and down all the time and we sit there, stone-faced, sober justices,” said Ginsburg. “But we’re not, at least I wasn’t, 100 per cent sober.”

It’s not the first time Ginsburg was caught catching some Zs, she was also caught snoozing at the 2013 State of the Union address which she blamed on “a very good California wine.”

At least she was honest.

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