Gabriel Le Senne tore up photos that Mercedes Garrido had in front of her. | Jaume Morey


Extraordinary scenes in the Balearic Parliament on Tuesday. The president (speaker), Gabriel Le Senne of Vox, ordered two PSOE socialist members to leave the chamber and ripped up a photo of Aurora Picornell, the Communist activist who was executed without trial by Falangists in January 1937.

The context for this was the Vox motion for repeal of the Law of Historical Memory. This was legislation promoted by the left-wing coalition in 2018 and which gained the support of the Partido Popular, who now govern but rely on Vox votes.

There was bound to have been tension, but events went beyond what might have been expected.

Before starting the debate, Le Senne addressed the two PSOE members directly - Mercedes Garrido and Pilar Costa, both of whom are on the parliament's board.

Le Senne referred to the "neutrality" of the board and ordered the two to remove photos of women who had been repressed by Francoism; one of them was Aurora Picornell.

When they did not remove the photos, he ordered them to leave the chamber and tore up photos that Garrido had in front of her. She and Costa were to his left. Garrido wanted to know what article of parliamentary business the speaker was using to order her out. And she warned him not to touch her computer.

PSOE were swift to take to social media: "If you put a fascist in charge of parliament, he ends up behaving like a fascist."

Party spokesperson Iago Negueruela demanded Le Senne's resignation and described what happened on Tuesday as "a despicable spectacle".