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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

The short answer to that is no. I do not recall every single word that Sir Oliver Letwin has said, although I am familiar with the thrust of his argumentation on these matters. It is a matter of record that the right hon. Gentleman has voted for the withdrawal agreement three times, and it is a matter of record that he has expressed support for the Government’s latest deal with the European Union, causing him therefore to be inclined to vote for the legislation. He can vote for the legislation if he so wishes—I have every expectation, on the strength of what he has said, that he will do so—but he does not determine what the judgment is about the same question convention. I mean, he could if he were the Speaker of the House. If the hon. Lady is going to make a belated attempt to persuade the right hon. Gentleman to abandon his retirement plans and seek election to the Chair, she might have success with him, or she might not—I do not know; he does not seem to be offering me any encouragement on that matter. I have made the judgment that I have made, and I think that it is the right judgment to make.