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Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:51 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 12:51 pm, 22nd October 2015

I love the hon. Gentleman, but I will make some progress.

Fourth, because our constitution is unwritten, we should enter into major constitutional change not unadvisedly or lightly but, in the words of the Prayer Book, discreetly, advisedly and soberly. That means that, when possible, the Government of the day should always proceed on a cross-party basis. Where it cannot do so, especially when one party alone holds a view, it should proceed with extreme caution. All these issues should be looked at in the round, in a proper constitutional convention. We cannot make these changes merely by altering the Standing Orders of this House. That is a thoroughly disreputable way of changing the constitution of this country.