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Tributes to the Speaker

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 31st 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 2:03 pm, 31st October 2019

Let me thank the hon. Gentleman who has made the concluding contribution from the Back Benches, and in thanking him I want to register the view that, in addition to all his other attributes, the hon. Gentleman is a gentleman. What he has said is very much appreciated by me, and it will not be forgotten.

I do want to thank colleagues. This is quite an embarrassing experience, and people watching may think it bizarre or surreal, but it is a procedure that very often takes place. It was opened with considered élan, style and good humour by the Leader of the House. The right hon. Gentleman always places a premium on the Chamber and regards his overriding duty to be in it whenever possible. If that was true as a Back Bencher, it is true almost in triplicate for the holder of a designated office, and most assuredly it is true for this holder of the office of Leader of the House when business to which he is speaking is involved. Notwithstanding that fact, I do think that the right hon. Gentleman deserves some appreciation for staying from the very start to the very close of this series of exchanges—it has been genuine and sincere, but also long—so I thank the Leader of the House very much.

I would like to thank all colleagues—all colleagues—who have spoken. They do not owe me anything, but I thank them for what they have said. [Interruption.] Conor Burns, who is on the Treasury Bench, says, “And those who can’t speak”. He and I have known each other a long time, and I told him outside the Chamber the other day how impressed I was by the way in which he had conducted himself at the Dispatch Box. Anybody would have thought that he had been a Minister for many years, as opposed to being virtually an ingénue, but I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his sedentary chunter.