Speaker’S Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 19th December 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 3:34 pm, 19th December 2018

My answer to the last point is no, and my response to the hon. Gentleman—I thank him for his multi-faceted point of order—is as follows: there is absolutely no inconsistency whatsoever between Members rising to support the granting of a debate on the one hand and not choosing to participate in it on the other. There is no incongruity, there is no incompatibility, there is no inconsistency, there is no contradiction. I hope the hon. Gentleman, who is a most courteous and assiduous Member of this House, will accept that I am well familiar with the procedures of this House and I know of what I speak. The hon. Gentleman might think that that is odd or peculiar or that it offends his sensibilities in some way—and I am sorry if that is the case—but there is nothing wrong or procedurally improper about that at all. I am asked if I have an estimate of the number of Members: no, I am extraordinarily grateful to the hon. Gentleman for attributing to me powers that I do not possess, but I am not psychic.