Alas, no. In fact, the opposite is the case. My complaints against the commissioner are even more trenchant than the complaints I intend to adduce against the Committee. If hon. Members will allow me to proceed with my case, I think that they will find some justice in what I have to say. I am accused in the Committee's report—indeed, I am sentenced by the Committee to 18 days' suspension—precisely because of the way I have conducted my defence against the accusations made. It says that in black and white. Rather surprisingly and sensitively, it states that if it were not for the way I had conducted my defence, I would merely have been asked to apologise to the House. I am being suspended for 18 days because of the way I conducted my defence. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, it has caused you some anxieties already this evening.
I want to make the case in my speech, which I warn the House will necessarily be a long one, for the reasons why I conducted my defence in the way that I did. I shall begin, if I may, with my criticism of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Sir Philip Mawer, who, in one of the delicious ironies—
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