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Transpeople (Prisons)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:05 pm on 20th November 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 12:05 pm, 20th November 2015

There are a couple of points to be made in response to what the hon. Gentleman has just said. First, the use of pejorative comments is not a novel phenomenon in the House of Commons. The hon. Gentleman need not sound quite so shocked, or display his offended sensibilities, at the notion that a right hon. or hon. Member has indulged in that practice.

The hon. Gentleman’s second point may well be helpful to the House as a whole, but I hope he will not take it amiss if I say that it had already penetrated the recesses of what passes for my brain. [Laughter.]In short, I was myself aware of that fact, simply because I have had the rather fortunate vantage point of the Speaker’s Chair since June 2009.

I do not have the statistical analysis in front of me, but I can confirm that, first, it is commonplace for a shadow Secretary of State’s opposite number to come along, and secondly, it is also commonplace for another Minister to do so. Quite what the stats show I do not know, but if Heidi Alexander is interested in the analysis, I dare say that—no state secret is involved—it could be supplied to her or to any other Member when it has been completed.

Finally, let me say that a certain amount of speculation is taking place in the Chamber on the precise whereabouts of the Secretary of State. I do not know, I have not inquired, it does not greatly concern me, and it is not a matter for the Chair; but I hope that, whatever he is doing, he is enjoying himself.