Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:52 pm on 7th September 2015.

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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, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission 5:52 pm, 7th September 2015

May I say to the Father of the House that I think he is almost always, including today, the means of his own salvation? There were occasions in the previous Parliament when the right hon. Gentleman had occasion to bring to my attention his dissatisfaction with not having received a reply from a Minister, and I think that on more than one occasion he received a reply from someone who did not exist—the name on the letter was that of someone who did not exist.

Look, these are not matters in which the Chair ordinarily becomes involved, but I have the highest regard for the courtesy that the Home Secretary has always shown to me, and which ordinarily she has always shown to the House. I think that it is much easier to respect the traditions and courtesies of the House and to err on the side of speed of response and, if I may say so, also on the side of acknowledging a very senior and long-serving Member who has made an approach.

I do not think that there will be a division of the House, or even any great objection from the right hon. Gentleman, if I say that he is not always the easiest colleague to please, but he has a right to represent his constituents and to be treated with the utmost courtesy. I am sorry if he feels that he has not been. I know that the Home Secretary will do her best with her ministerial team to accommodate his various requests and, periodically, his demands.

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Interruption.

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She says from a sedentary position that she does. Let us leave it there for today. The right hon. Gentleman has not been in the House for 45 years for no reason.