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The office of Speaker in this House is the guardian of fairness. Will the right hon. Gentleman explain how the reputation of Parliament and the fairness of this House is enhanced by his not sharing even at the beginning of this week his intention to bring about this debate today?
Across the country, people look at Parliament, whose reputation has not been enhanced by many of the actions taken in recent years. This, the last sitting day before the country goes to a general election, is an opportunity for the country to look at us and see that we behave fairly. In the next Parliament, if the Speaker is to be able to conduct business properly, all hon. Members must feel that his election is fair. Yet today, many hon. Members cannot be part of this debate. Will the right hon. Gentleman simply explain to us why it was not possible to inform all Members at the beginning of the week that this debate would take place today?