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 sorry, but I have to resort to my usual advice to quizzical Members in these circumstances: persist, persist, persist. Write, seek a meeting, and press again and again and again in pursuit of a response to an entirely legitimate question. Do not take no for an answer.

It is a very long time since I was a special adviser. In those days the rules were extremely strict, and what the hon. Gentleman says resonates with me entirely. I have no reason to suppose the rules have changed. I cannot possibly say what is or is not done by way of conduct on the part of particular individuals now, but that it is a legitimate matter of public interest, rather than something simply to be treated as the subject of cheap badinage and ribaldry, is entirely obvious to me. The hon. Gentleman has a fair inquiry. He should pursue it and not put up with those who sneer and smirk, and think it is all a sort of jolly wheeze and a game, and that it does not matter a damn. It does matter a damn, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will pursue it. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, and I hope he is suitable emboldened and fortified in pursuit of his efforts.