Speaker’s Statement

– in the House of Commons at on 24 May 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, House of Commons Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Conference Committee, Chair, Speaker's Conference Committee, Chair, Restoration and Renewal Client Board Committee, Chair, Restoration and Renewal Client Board Committee

Before we begin today’s business, I would like to pay tribute to Dame Eleanor Laing and Dame Rosie Winterton—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]—who have both indicated that they will not be seeking re-election to this House.

Dame Eleanor has been a Deputy Speaker for more than a decade and succeeded me as Chair of Ways and Means when I was elected Speaker. Hon. Members may not be aware that as well as her role presiding over the Chamber, that office comes with a wide range of other responsibilities, including convening the Panel of Chairs, responsibility for Westminster Hall, and all the other things that I delegate that I do not want. [Laughter.] Thank you, Eleanor, for doing all that and for the service you have given.

Dame Rosie became a Deputy Speaker in 2017 after serving as Opposition Chief Whip through the 2010 Parliament. She has used her deep knowledge of the inner workings of this place to great effect in the Chair and has given us tip-offs when we needed them.

I should like to put on the record my personal gratitude and, I am sure, the gratitude of all Members to them both for their service to the House during their long and distinguished parliamentary careers. I know we will keep in touch, but I cannot thank them enough for all the help and support that they have given me. I personally thank you both for what you have done. We have achieved a lot during a difficult time.

I will share one thing with the House. The one thing I said I would never, ever get involved in was saying what women should wear in the Chamber—that was beyond me. The dress tsar was Eleanor. The rules were Eleanor’s and enforced by Eleanor. I will never want to take up that role, so I can only thank her for choosing what women should wear. Any complaints, address them to Eleanor!

I thank them both for what they have done. Nigel, you will stay on, so we will say nothing about the other Deputy. I just want to say—it is on the record—thank you both. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] Do enjoy your further careers—I am sure you will—and let us hope you are not too far away in the future.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey Conservative, Suffolk Coastal

I want to thank you, Mr Speaker, for all that you have done in this Parliament. It has been an extraordinary one, given the situation we went through with covid. The way this Parliament continued to function was truly innovative, recognising the challenges of the time.

Many people are standing down. I am not one of them, Mr Speaker—I hope to be re-elected to this House— but I am conscious that today is the opportunity for valedictory messages. The point of order that I am really trying to make is to understand how today’s final debate will work. I hope that there will be an opportunity for everybody to speak, with priority given to those making valedictory speeches, but that there will be a chance, too, for constituency MPs who want to raise issues. I would be grateful for your guidance on when the debate is likely to start and finish.

Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, House of Commons Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Conference Committee, Chair, Speaker's Conference Committee, Chair, Restoration and Renewal Client Board Committee, Chair, Restoration and Renewal Client Board Committee

I wish I could give an answer to that. Unfortunately, I am not in control of the Lords. Maybe it would be helpful if this House was. [Laughter.] As information comes through in real time, we will update the House. We have some things to get through. You are absolutely right that preference will be given to those Members who are standing down. I think we will have more time than we would expect. It does not look like an early finish for Members today. Who knows, but I think we could be running until after 6 pm, so there will be time, but, as I say, I will give preference to those who are stepping down.

Let me say to those Members who are stepping down: thank you for being part of this Parliament. Thank you for what you have done. We are going to lose some good friends. On both sides of the House, experience is leaving, and that is sad for all of us, but I wish you well in the next part of your careers.