Point of Order

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:34 pm on 1st May 2018.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee 12:34 pm, 1st May 2018

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last night in the House of Lords, Lord Roberts said:

“My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933 when the enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag, which transferred the democratic right from the Parliament into the hands of one man—that was the Chancellor, and his name was Adolf Hitler.”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 30 April 2018;
Vol. 790, c. 1856.]

As someone who is Jewish and very proud of our Parliament, I find those remarks absolutely disgusting. They are shameful for our country and for our Parliament, and completely unacceptable. Can you advise me of ways that this House can send a message to that peer that such trivialisation of evil is unacceptable and that he should withdraw those remarks?

Hear, hear!

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

I am very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order, and I understand and respect, not least having known him for a quarter of a century, the strength of feeling that he has just articulated on the matter. I am sorry to have to say to him, but I do, that the Speaker of this House has no role in policing or overseeing utterances in the other place. I do not think it is for me formally to take the matter forward. However, the right hon. Gentleman received strong support from colleagues for what he said, and if he wishes to write to the noble Lord and to enclose a copy of what he has said in this Chamber, I think he will feel that he has done the right thing, and it may elicit a response. I think we should always speak with great care and sensitivity in either House, and I thank the right hon. Gentleman for what he said. We must now move on, because we have heavy business today.