Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 22nd November 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 10:35 am, 22nd November 2018

I am very sorry that the hon. Gentleman has felt it necessary, on the basis of what he has witnessed, to make that point. My desire would be to lower the temperature and to give opportunities for colleagues to reflect. I am very sorry that, in his long experience, he has not witnessed anything of the kind he has just seen.

My concern is that a proper procedure should be followed in respect of the upcoming matter, perhaps the most serious matter to be brought to this House in half a century. This matter must be dealt with in a manner that suits the House, rather than one particular opinion represented in the House. In my time in the Chair, for all the mistakes that I have made and the inadequacies that I have demonstrated—[Hon. Members: “No!”] Oh yes, because to err is human. I have always stood up for the rights of Back-Bench Members and the rights of Parliament, and the rights of Parliament can sometimes be different from those of a particular Executive at a given time. The Speaker has to be on the side of Parliament, and I always am and always will be.