Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 17th July 2018.

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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 1:53 pm, 17th July 2018

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, who expresses himself with his characteristic clarity but—if I may say so—uncharacteristic force, which the House will have noted. Needless to say, I take what he said and the passion he feels about the matter—as someone who has served in the House without interruption for 35 years—extremely seriously. Standing Order No. 25 provides that motions for the Adjournment of the House for a specified period and moved by a Minister are put forthwith—that is to say, without debate. It would have been possible for the Government to table a Business of the House motion overriding the Standing Order, but they have not done so.

If a Minister moves motion 13 on the Order Paper this evening, the Chair will be obliged to put the question without debate. If the Chair’s opinion on the voices is challenged, a Division would be deferred until tomorrow. As ever, it would be up to Members whether to vote for or against the proposition. Salvation lies in Members’ hands.

I add, merely by way of information and in the name of transparency, that no indication of this intention on the part of the Government was communicated to me in advance. I am not complaining about that; I simply want to make it clear to people who might think, “Oh, the Speaker must have been aware of and in on this”, that that was not and is not the case.