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

This is good, because the hon. Gentleman agrees with me. He is absolutely right to do so, but I do not think he has followed it through to its logical conclusion. He is right. For centuries, when the House has sent a Bill into Committee, it has decided that certain Members should sit on that Committee for the line-by-line consideration of the Bill. That is absolutely the sensible thing to do. In the past, it was done by those who were most interested in the subject, and then it was decided that it would be done by party political balance. Now, there is a suggestion that if the Bills are exclusively English-only, there should be English-only membership. I have absolutely no problem with that; the hon. Gentleman and I are as one. He should therefore support our amendment this afternoon, as I agree with him.

My second problem is that these measures will politicise the Speaker[Laughter.][Hon. Members: “Oh!”]This is a Paddington bear stare—[Interruption.] All right, calm down—[Interruption.] You broke my leg; calm down.