Delegated Legislation (Committees)

– in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 23rd October 2018.

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That the motion in the name of Andrea Leadsom relating to the Electoral Commission be referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee.—(Iain Stewart.)

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I notice that the Government decided not to move motion 9 on time limits on speeches. I was ready to object to it, despite being a member of the Procedure Committee, because I think that it affects intimately the life of many Members of Parliament.

I want to get your advice, Mr Speaker, which is why I think this is a genuine point of order. If I had simply objected to the motion, presumably there would have been a deferred Division, but what I would really like is a debate, because I think that Members are very interested in time limits on speeches. How can we get a debate about this on the Floor of the House?

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

Repeated objection could secure the outcome that the hon. Gentleman seeks. I should just say, for the purposes of clarification, that the motion in question was not deferrable. If memory serves me correctly, motions 3 to 8 were potentially deferrable, but motion 9, which excited the hon. Gentleman to the point that he wished to argue against it and which was not moved by the Government, was not a motion subject to a deferred Division. It was what is known in the trade—not least by our previously bewigged friends who advise the Chair—as a “nod or nothing”, which means that it proceeds on the basis that nobody objects to it, but if somebody objects to it, it does not proceed. If it comes forward on the same basis again and the hon. Gentleman objects—and possibly even without it coming forward on that basis again—time could well be found for a debate. At that point, he would be able to explain, doubtless eloquently and possibly at length, why he was opposed to it. I hope that that is helpful to him, and when he repairs home, he can tell Lady Leigh all about it.