Speaker MP for Buckingham (1 May 1997 – current)
John Bercow: Before I put the Question, I want to take the opportunity to say how grateful I am to all colleagues for what they have said on this occasion by way of tribute to Kamal El-Hajji. It rather reinforces a very deep and long-held sense that I have had about our Serjeant, which is that, among all sorts of other positive characteristics, he has excellent interpersonal skills and is extremely...
John Bercow: I call the hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Rishi Sunak), the Minister in a hurry, to move the Third Reading of the Bill. He may be a Minister in a hurry in more ways than one—I know not—but, as always, he is a happy and positive-looking Minister.
John Bercow: I am not aware of any such intention. My understanding is that there will be statutory instruments tomorrow but not, to the best of my knowledge and recollection, on this subject. The Clerk at the Table is swivelling around, which is sometimes testament to his desire to vouchsafe valued advice, but he has re-swivelled, which suggests that, in fact, he has no such desire at this stage. In all...
John Bercow: I am very glad that the right hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Sir John Hayes) has reconsidered his decision to beetle—or, in his case, perhaps to stroll—out of the Chamber, because I note that even as we deliberate on the most serious and solemn matters, not only has he been seated like a dignified Buddha but he has demonstrated that his penchant for alliteration never ceases.
John Bercow: I am pleased that the right hon. Gentleman is so pleased that none of his 11 parliamentary colleagues, himself and the successful leader included, has resigned. I know he is very happy about that, and I am very happy to join in his happiness for himself.
John Bercow: Very well done.
John Bercow: I am very grateful to the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) and to the Minister. I have a sense that we will very likely be returning to this matter in September, if not before.
John Bercow: They certainly will not be. I am aware of such efforts, as the hon. Lady knows. Such efforts to silence Members of this House are both improper and extremely ill judged, and the sooner their authors realise that, so much the better.
John Bercow: It is good of the hon. Gentleman to blow his own trumpet.
John Bercow: Order. In calling the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Louise Haigh), I wish her a very happy birthday.
John Bercow: Birthday woman and man in a hurry.
John Bercow: ...by the clear sedentary head-shaking of no less a figure than the Patronage Secretary, aided and abetted by the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (John Penrose). They are both signalling that the Government have no intention of abandoning the Bill, and the Chief Whip, having shaken his head, is now in a position, if he so wishes, to nod his...
John Bercow: Order. The House must come to order.
John Bercow: We are extraordinarily grateful to the hon. Gentleman.
John Bercow: Order. These are extremely important matters, but I intend to move on from this statement absolutely no later than 10 past 12 and to dispose of, in the parliamentary sense, the business of the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex (Sir Bernard Jenkin) on the Select Committee statement by absolutely no later than half-past, so economy is of the essence. I call Mr Dominic Grieve.
John Bercow: Order. In calling the hon. Member for Ogmore (Chris Elmore), I congratulate him on, and offer him best wishes for, his wedding on Saturday. I know that the House will join me in that expression of good will. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] He is a very young man to be contemplating the state of matrimony, but we wish him well in its pursuit.
John Bercow: But that is not a matter for the Secretary of State—
John Bercow: It is very interesting to learn of the personal experience of the Minister, but all that I can say at this stage is that he is challenging our vivid imaginations. I was going to call Mr Stringer. Are you still interested, sir? Get in there.
John Bercow: Does the hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Alan Brown) want to make a second inquiry? No? I do not want to tempt him beyond his natural appetite. I had him down for two questions, but we are grateful for his self-denying ordinance. In that case, we probably just about have time to include Mr Farron.
John Bercow: I must say, having listened to the Minister I do not think I can take any more such excitement. It is almost too much.