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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 29th 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 4:40 pm, 29th October 2019

Order. I ask the hon. Lady to resume her seat. Either entirely of her own initiative—which is perfectly credible, because she is a most assiduous parliamentarian—or because she has been exhorted by others, or maybe a judicious combination of the two, she seems inclined to do precisely what I told her she should not do, which is to dilate on matters that, as things stand, are outwith the scope of the Bill. I cannot in all conscience encourage her to persist with her global tour, and potentially her intergalactic tour, in pursuit of evidence that she wishes to adduce on the matter of the appropriate age at which people should vote. What I have tried to tell her courteously, and which I now tell her courteously but bluntly, is that those matters are not currently up for discussion. It will not suffice for her to smile at me and say, “Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for your guidance,” with a view then to comprehensively ignoring it.