Lawmakers of the radical League of Social Democrats walked out of a Legislative Council meeting yesterday when a government official was responding to a question they raised. The party's chairman, Wong Yuk-man, and Albert Chan Wai-yip left the chamber after hurling insults at the secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs. A week earlier, the two lawmakers and party colleague Leung Kwok-hung were expelled one after another after shouting abuse at Mr Lam. The minister, Stephen Lam Sui-lung, said his role was to explain clearly the administration's stance and it was up to the lawmakers to decide how they should respond to government officials. 'It is for individual members to decide what response they should take, what questions they wish to put and what attitude to adopt in relating to government officials,' Mr Lam said. Speaking after he left the chamber yesterday, Mr Chan accused the minister of insulting the legislature and misleading the public by giving what he called 'distorted facts' regarding the government's financial assistance scheme for district council elections. Despite a formal complaint by Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen about the lawmakers' insults during last week's Legco meeting, Mr Wong and Mr Chan continued to call Mr Lam a thug and a b****** yesterday. Asked if his relationship with the party's lawmakers was deadlocked, Mr Lam said: 'I shouldn't think so. I think the government and all political parties must interact.' The minister appeared in Legco yesterday to reply to a question raised by the Democratic Party's vice-chairwoman, Emily Lau Wai-hing, regarding the possibility of the government providing financial assistance for political parties. Mr Lam said it would be inappropriate for the government, at this stage, to use public funds to increase assistance to political parties. 'If we enhance the financial assistance only for political parties, it might not be fair to the independents and might constrain the room for their participation in politics,' he said. The party's chairman, Albert Ho Chun-yan, questioned the rationale for the government's rejection. 'It is unbelievable. Does it mean that the government will never offer any financial assistance for political parties because there are some people with no political affiliations contesting the elections?' he asked. Mr Lam said the government would support political parties in the same way it supported independents, through subsidies for candidates contesting local elections.