Engagements

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 5th June 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

The hon. Gentleman has partly achieved his objective by the ruse—and I will call it the ruse—of a point of order, which conceivably could have been the substitute for a question that he might have wanted to ask. If that was his objective, he has achieved it. I cannot speak for the House as a whole, but to judge from debates that have taken place in this Chamber in recent years, my strong sense is that his point will have struck a chord. The idea that such a march should not be able to take place within a safe space, with its participants’ physical security underpinned, offends very strongly against our instincts, so I hope that such measures as are necessary to be taken by Georgians will be taken.

More widely, if I heard the hon. Gentleman correctly, he made what struck me as a wholly uncontroversial observation about the record of the Russian state in human rights generally and, more particularly, the protection—or rather the non-protection—of the rights of LGBT people. That is a profoundly unsatisfactory state of affairs, and it is about time it became more civilised in these important matters. [Interruption.] It is always good to have the sedentary support of Michael Fabricant, and I thank him for what he has said.