Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:07 pm on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 2:07, 22 February 2024

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I want to make a helpful suggestion, and seek your guidance on it. The Speaker is a good, decent and honourable man, and we are lucky to have him as the Speaker of the House of Commons. He has my 100% full support and my total confidence. He made a mistake yesterday and, unlike most politicians, he has been big enough to come to the House and admit that. If only other MPs would admit when they made mistakes, we probably would be seen in a better light. I am pretty certain that he retains the full confidence of the overwhelming majority of people on both sides of the House. By the way, if we all had to lose our jobs every time we made a mistake, I would have lost mine 19 years ago, and probably every week since. Let us be reasonable about this and put it in perspective.

May I make a suggestion? There have been many reports about what pressure was or was not placed on Mr Speaker before his decision yesterday. I do not want him to be asked to breach any confidences, because conversations between the Speaker and Members should remain private —we should respect that. However, it would be helpful if the Speaker or the Chairman of Ways and Means could issue guidance to Members of this House on what is an appropriate way to make a request of the Speaker, and what would be considered undue influence or inappropriate, over-the-top requests.

If we could have some guidance on that, it may stop instances in the future where Members are accused of putting intolerable pressures on the Chair, because we would all know where we stand and what is and is not acceptable. I ask if you could go away and think about that, Mr Deputy Speaker. Hopefully, we can draw a line under this matter and get on with what the people who elected us want us to focus on—important matters nationally and internationally.