Speaker’S Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 18th 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 3:33 pm, 18th March 2019

There can always be Speaker’s Conferences, though I must say—I do not direct this particularly at this Government at all; it is a wider observation—that it is a perhaps curious and quaint fact that ordinarily, Speaker’s Conferences are convened at the instigation of the Government of the day. Indeed, I recall a particular occasion some years ago when I had some interest in the possibility of a Speaker’s Conference on aspects of parliamentary power. If I said to the right hon. Gentleman that the reaction to my suggestion at the time from the then Leader of the House was not wildly enthusiastic, I think that I would be somewhat understating the position. But that was then, and maybe the new Leader of the House, or relatively new Leader of the House, who has been a notable reformer in other respects, will be seized by the salience of what the right hon. Gentleman has commended to the House and will feel that she could have a key role in initiating such an important constitutional development. If she did, I would be perfectly willing to play ball with it. I have no idea; it is not something she and I have discussed, but you never know.