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 Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield 3:34 pm, 19th December 2018

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I was going to start my remarks by saying that I have been in the House longer than you, and that is true. I am also well known to be a bit of a chunterer; I often turn to the person next to me and say quite rude things—not dreadful, but rude—about something I disagree with. This is a serious point of order: I cannot believe that this House is going to get to the stage where these events happen when someone says something under their breath—“What a silly sod”, for instance, which I say very often, quite loudly, under my breath. We cannot have a system here where we start lipreading something someone has said to their next-door neighbour when passions are high in this House. It is supposed to be a place of high passions, but it is also a place where we treat people like adults, and today we have been like badly behaved children. We are in a crucial time in the history of our country—the most delicate and worrying time in my time in the House—and we have spent all these hours on this matter. I believe the Leader of the Opposition said what he said; let us draw a line under it and get on and act like grown-ups.