Speaker's Statement

– in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 30th October 2001.

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Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Speaker of the House of Commons 3:30 pm, 30th October 2001

I have a short statement to make. Following the Home Secretary's statement yesterday, I made a comment from the Chair which some observers have interpreted as a political statement. I wish to assure the House that I am wholly committed to maintaining the long-standing tradition that the Speaker stands aside from politics. The remark I made yesterday stemmed from my personal experience with constituents in my Glasgow, Springburn constituency, particularly in the community of Sighthill. Members may be aware that there was a particularly tragic murder of a young asylum seeker in that area during the summer recess. If, contrary to my intention, my remark was subject to the interpretation that has been placed on it, I seek the indulgence of the House.

Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack Conservative, South Staffordshire

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would it be in order to thank you very much for what you have just said, to express sympathy with you as a constituency Member, but most of all to thank you for upholding the impartiality of the Chair?