Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:12 pm on 3rd March 2011.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons 12:12 pm, 3rd March 2011

The hon. Gentleman raises what, in the circumstances, is a hypothetical question. However, I can say that, yes, that would have been possible, but in the circumstances we have encountered it was not. I hope that he and the House will understand that there is a balance of considerations in these matters. In the situation we faced this morning, it was felt to be important, including by me, to protect the time for the half-day Opposition day debate in the name of the Democratic Unionist party. It is also important that the House should hear the statement from the Secretary of State, and have the opportunity to question him on it, at the earliest practicable opportunity without doing violence to that minority party entitlement. I do not say that the situation is ideal, but what I do say is that a pragmatic approach has been taken in the circumstances the Leader of the House and I encountered.

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