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Election of Select Committee Chairs (Notice of Election)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 15th October 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 7:00 pm, 15th October 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. No one can accuse him of failing to take his opportunities when they present themselves. I cannot give him an immediate assurance that an urgent question application which has not yet been made, and which therefore manifestly I have not seen, will be acceded to by the Chair. However, the hon. Gentleman was present and correct when the Minister for Europe and the Americas, who has just beetled out of the Chamber—perfectly properly, I hasten to add—referred en passant to my enthusiasm for urgent questions. Whether the Minister did so with any great enthusiasm himself, I leave observers to decide for themselves. If the Minister does not approve of my granting of urgent questions, he is perfectly welcome to his opinion, which will not cause me any loss of sleep. But it is certainly the case that I very much favour the urgent question as an instrument of scrutiny, and indeed, very often, of Back-Bench opportunity. So if the hon. Gentleman submits an urgent question—or if Ian Mearns, the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, does so—it will be carefully considered. He is clearly not planning to do so at the moment, but we are where we are.