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Speaker’s Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 21st 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 3:31 pm, 21st October 2019

I am very grateful to the hon. Lady. It is a genuine point of order, and my response to it is as follows. First, when I referred—I do not mean this impolitely—not to 29 March, but to 18 March, I was referring not to a motion on that day, which was indeed in the last Session, but to the statement or ruling I gave at the time on the same question convention. The ruling on the same question convention has not just survived from one Session to another; it has in fact survived for the last 415 years, so I do not think we need trouble ourselves unduly on that matter.

Secondly, I very specifically was making the point that the matter has been treated of as recently as Saturday, with a very clear decision reached by the House on the amendment to the motion, and therefore it would not be appropriate to consider that matter today.

Thirdly, when the hon. Lady inquires about whether a different formulation of words, or a section or subsection would render such a motion open to a different judgment on the same question and convention, I hope that she will understand when I say that I cannot possibly pronounce on that until I know the circumstances. I would have to see the particulars, and I am grateful for the rather vigorous nodding of the head by John Redwood who, at least on that point, seems to agree with me.