Prorogation (Disclosure of Communications)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:11 pm on 9th 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 6:11 pm, 9th September 2019

I hope the right hon. Lady will forgive me, but I was immersed—there is no point in my pretending otherwise—in a Socratic dialogue with an hon. Gentleman, as the Chair sometimes is. Therefore I did not hear what Rachel Maclean said. I find it hard to credit the notion that she would impute dishonour to a colleague, particularly to a colleague on her own Benches, and certainly she should not do so. At this stage I have to declare her innocent, because there is no evidence of guilt, but nevertheless it is useful to be reminded of the dictate of “Erskine May” that moderation and good humour in the use of parliamentary language are reliable watchwords in conducting our debates.