Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:23 pm on 11th March 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 4:23 pm, 11th March 2019

The answer is that it could come at any time, with the agreement of the Chair. I do not seek to minimise the significance of the hon. Lady’s point. However, there are precedents for most things in this House, and I can assure her that there are many precedents for statements being delivered at the moment of interruption. It is perfectly possible to have a statement that is not taken sequentially after the others but at the moment of interruption—in the case of a Monday, 10 o’clock.

It could be at 10 o’clock. However, pursuant to what Chris Bryant said about people needing to honour external commitments, it might be for the convenience of the House, if the Minister is ready to deliver that statement, for it to be delivered to the House earlier than 10 o’clock. If I had a sense that it would be for the convenience of the House, I would be minded to agree to such a request. How would it become known to Members? My strong advice to the hon. Lady and all colleagues is to keep their eyes on the annunciator, and we will try to ensure that there is proper notice; it will not be at five minutes’ notice or anything like that. On that, I can assure the hon. Lady, I will insist.