Points of Order

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:01 pm on 14th February 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 12:01 pm, 14th February 2019

The right hon. Gentleman is entirely justified in seeking further clarification, and I am happy to provide it. The answer is, yes, I do expect that if the intended reference—I thought that I had conveyed the flavour of this, but if I had not, it was my fault—is pejorative. It is not unknown in the course of debate for a Member to refer to another Member’s constituency, for example, to its level of prosperity or joblessness, to a reduction in joblessness or to start-up businesses there—whatever it may be—but if a Member intends to refer pejoratively or disobligingly to another Member’s constituency, raising serious issues, potentially of order and certainly of House reputation, I think that it is reasonable, and I am so advised, not only for the Member affected to be told in advance, but for the Chair to be notified in advance. I hope, therefore, that the relatively narrow application of what I am talking about is reassuring to the right hon. Gentleman.