Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:41 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 10:41 pm, 9th September 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I am sorry that one or two people, in response to the hon. Gentleman rising, yelled, “Yawn.” I wonder whether people observing our proceedings think that that is a proper way for one colleague to show respect for another. It is not a matter of “yawn”—it is a matter of serious issues being raised, and responsibility being incumbent on the Chair in this case to seek to respond. It is not “yawn”—it is serious politics.

The hon. Gentleman has raised a legitimate matter. The simple answer is that the Government must comply with the Humble Address passed by the House. That is the reality of the matter. A debate has happened, a decision has been made, and it is incumbent on the Government to comply manifestly with what has been decided, the spirit, purpose and content of which are entirely clear. [Interruption.] This is not about game playing and machination—it is about doing what Parliament wants, which is what most people would expect their elected Parliament to do. [Interruption.] I do not require any help from someone chuntering from a sedentary position in evident disregard for the procedures of the House and the purport of the hon. Gentleman’s inquiry.

Under Standing Order No. 158, on the presentation of Command Papers, if papers are commanded by Her Majesty to be presented to the House at any time during the existence of a Parliament, which includes periods of Prorogation, although not of Dissolution, delivery of such papers to the Votes and Proceedings Office shall be deemed for all purposes a presentation of them to the House. At least to me, at this point, that seems clear, and I hope that it is not beyond the considerable intellectual capacities of some members of the Government.