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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

It was a hospital pass, though.

Let me return to the issue of the Speaker. I know that the Leader of the House thinks that deciding whether a Bill is exclusively England-only will be simple, but none of the evidence thus far provided by the devolved Administrations, any of the legal experts or any of the Members of the House of Lords who have legal qualifications suggests that that is so. I urge hon. Members to consider any one of the Bills before the House to see whether it is straightforward.

There is a major difference between the money Bill certificates issued under the Parliament Acts and these new certificates. Money Bill certificates affect only the Lords and prevent them from considering our legislation. The new certificates will affect elected Members of the House who are bound to try to tie the Speaker up in knots. Since certification has to happen before Second Reading, the Speaker will in effect be able to delay when Second Reading can take place. The Leader of the House tells me that the Government will provide clear instructions to the Speaker on how he should certificate, but surely that turns the Speaker into the creature of the Crown, not the servant of this House. What price Speaker Lenthall?