Points of Order

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 9th January 2019.

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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 12:49 pm, 9th January 2019

The Clerk has just said to me that advice to the Speaker is private, but I do have two things to say to the hon. Gentleman. First, perhaps I can concur with him; I know him, and his whole political background and track record in this place prove that he is not part of co-ordinated efforts. He is very much his own person, and he knows that I have always respected him for that as well as for a number of his other qualities.

Secondly, when the hon. Gentleman refers to a perception out there. To some degree, this brings us back to earlier points of order. I often have to explain this point to constituents and to people I meet around the country, so let me again say this and let me say it explicitly: it is not for the Chair either to try to push a policy through or to prevent a policy being pushed through. That is not the role of the Speaker of the House. The role of the Speaker of the House is to chair as effectively as he or she can in the Chamber and in the management of the day-to-day business, including the selection of amendments, new clauses and so on. What the House chooses to do is a matter for the House. If that applies across the piece, manifestly it applies to the subject of Brexit. What happens on this subject is not a matter for me; I am simply seeking to facilitate the House in deciding what it wants to decide. That has always been my attitude, it remains my attitude and it will continue to be my attitude. Let the House decide on the policy.