John Bercow: I am most grateful to the Secretary of State and colleagues for the statement and the exchanges on it.
John Bercow: That is extraordinarily considerate, and characteristically so of the hon. Gentleman, in time for the statement by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. Proceedings interrupted ( Standing Order No. 11(4)).
John Bercow: Order. Has the hon. Lady completed her speech?
John Bercow: We are immensely grateful to the hon. Lady. Is the hon. Member for Sheffield South East (Mr Betts) ready, or has he been detained by other matters? No; he is ready. Let us hear from the fellow.
John Bercow: I served with the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Richard Burden) on the International Development Committee for—if memory serves me correctly—four and a half years, and I can testify to the truth and accuracy of what has been said by way of a tribute to his work and his passion for the issues raised.
John Bercow: I am not sure I am going to argue with that one.
John Bercow: Order. As usual, a great many hon. and right hon. Members are seeking to catch my eye, and I am keen to accommodate the level of interest. However, it might be useful for the House to know that there is a Select Committee statement to follow, and that approximately 50 hon. Members are seeking to contribute to the two debates to take place under the auspices of the Backbench Business...
John Bercow: Order. At approximately 11.40 am we will need to move on to the next business, so may I very gently say to colleagues that although I understand the desire to give some context and preamble before asking a question, Members who now proceed with what is probably a scripted and rather long question will be doing so knowing that they are stopping colleagues taking part? So may I appeal to...
John Bercow: Order. The pressure is growing for short single-sentence questions without preamble, to be brilliantly exemplified, I feel sure, by Mr Drew Hendry.
John Bercow: I am very grateful to the Leader of the House and to colleagues for their succinctness in enabling us to finish on schedule. We now come to the Select Committee statement. The Chair of the International Development Select Committee, Mr Stephen Twigg, will speak on his subject for up to 10 minutes, during which—I remind colleagues who have forgotten the procedure, or inform them if they...
John Bercow: I always thought the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) had a substantial supply of grit all his own.
John Bercow: Will the Minister face the House, and then everybody can hear?
John Bercow: A very short question is required so, of course, I look in the direction of the right hon. Member for New Forest West (Sir Desmond Swayne).
John Bercow: Can the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Cat Smith) match that brevity?
John Bercow: Similarly brief, the hon. Member for Walsall North (Eddie Hughes).
John Bercow: I give the hon. Gentleman permission to breathe.
John Bercow: Whether it is a matter of great constitutional significance is not for me to say. It is, however, not a matter for the Chair. The hon. Lady inquires how she can achieve her objective, and the answer is that she has done so—it is on the record.
John Bercow: We come now to the Trade Bill programme (No.2) motion, in which the Foreign Secretary is displaying an eccentric but insatiable interest. Motion made, and Question put forthwith ( Standing Order No. 83A(7)), That the Order of 9 January (Trade Bill: Programme) be varied as follows: In paragraph (2) of the Order (conclusion of proceedings in Public Bill Committee) for “Tuesday 30...
John Bercow: I call Tom Brake to move new clause 11 formally.
John Bercow: I inform the House that I have selected the amendment in the name of the leader of the Scottish National party.