Pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip has made a u-turn and submitted a legislative motion to condemn legislator Ted Hui over a phone-snatching incident.

Ip considered withdrawing the censure motion after Hui was arrested on Saturday, as judicial proceedings were set to begin. But Ip came under fire from her own camp as she did not consult others before making the suggestion.

On Monday, Ip said she would submit the motion following a closed-door meeting with her camp.

Regina Ip
Regina Ip. Photo: DMHK screenshot.

At a Legislative Council meeting last month, Hui snatched the phone of a executive officer who was tasked with keeping track of lawmakers’ whereabouts. He took it to a men’s bathroom to check the data collected.

Ip said she had concerns over whether a censure motion in the legislature would interfere with judicial proceedings, but she was reassured by lawmakers with legal backgrounds that it was not problematic.

“The investigation committee at the legislature will be confidential, it will not interfere with the criminal investigation or judicial proceedings,” she said.

She said she hoped the motion could be discussed on May 23 at a legislative meeting.

Under pressure?

Asked if she had angered her camp by failing to consult them beforehand, she said: “There were different opinions in the pro-establishment camp. Some lawmakers, some colleagues thought we could wait, but some did not think so. In the end, we reached a consensus.”

Ted Hui Chi-fung
Ted Hui Chi-fung. File photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

A censure motion could result in Hui being removed from the Legislative Council if two-thirds of lawmakers in attendance support his disqualification following an investigation.

Following the incident, Hui’s Democratic Party membership was indefinitely suspended. Chief Executive Carrie Lam criticised his actions as “barbaric,” and on Saturday, he was arrested for dishonest use of a computer, common assault, criminal destruction and obstruction of a public officer.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.