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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 28th 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 10:00 pm, 28th October 2019

There are two points there. In relation to Second Reading, I do not have sight of the Bill, but as the Leader of the House pithily responded to one inquisitor, all Bills—or virtually all Bills—are amendable. Is it possible for someone to table an amendment to the Second Reading of the Bill? The answer is that it almost certainly is—I use that caveat only because new precedents can be created from time to time, but I should certainly imagine that it would be possible for an amendment to be tabled to Second Reading.

So far as Report stage is concerned, I simply advise the hon. Gentleman—I made this point to the Clerk of Legislation, who immediately confirmed it—that amendments at Report stage are perfectly imaginable, but there is a Report stage based upon a Committee stage at which amendments have been made. Amendments at Report stage are imaginable in circumstances in which there is such a stage, and that is contingent upon the sequence of events at Committee stage. I hope that that is helpful to the hon. Gentleman and clear to colleagues. I recognise the concern in the House that has been expressed, to which I am sensitive, and in relation to which I think I have given explicit answers.