Speaker’S Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:55 pm on 4th September 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 2:55 pm, 4th September 2019

It is not ordinarily the case that the courts look at how we make our decisions. There is quite an established principle of comity with the courts, and the principle is that our procedures are respected and, in turn, we respect those of the courts. As I say, I will happily reflect further on the right hon. Gentleman’s point, as I will reflect upon the point raised by Mr Duncan Smith, but I am entirely comfortable that we are proceeding in a proper way.

I ought to say to Mr Davis that, of course, I am conscious, as every Member is, that there are different opinions about the merits of the procedure being followed today, as there are about the merits of the procedure followed yesterday and of the procedure followed at the time of the Bill introduced by Yvette Cooper, but those are matters of political dispute, not, in my judgment, of rule observance or procedural propriety. We are proceeding in a proper manner. That manner may offend the instincts of some Members, but that does not make it improper. It may mean simply that it is distasteful to the right hon. Gentleman. I am sorry if that is the case, but it does not mean that he has made a valid point of a procedural character.