John Bercow: We will hear from a Devon knight, I think. Sir Gary Streeter.
John Bercow: Oh very well. I call Tim Farron.
John Bercow: Order. If the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) wishes to shoehorn his Question 20, which will not be reached, into this Question 10, which has been, he is free to do so. If he takes me up on his generous offer, we will have a double dose of Daniel.
John Bercow: East Yorkshire knight—Sir Gregory Knight.
John Bercow: I think that we are about to hear the prodigious knowledge of the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Nick Smith) on the Moray growth deal. Wonders never cease.
John Bercow: The unadulterated charm of the Chief Secretary has, in my experience, not been surpassed—at any rate among Treasury Ministers.
John Bercow: The hon. Member for Solihull (Julian Knight), the House will want to know, is a former money and property editor of The Independent and a very distinguished fellow, I am sure.
John Bercow: Order. The words “cheeky chappy” could have been invented to describe the hon. Gentleman, and I am sure that that is something in which he takes great pride, among many other things.
John Bercow: Whether that is because the right hon. Gentleman does not judge himself to be a particular authority on bus-buying or because he regards reference to the matter as beneath the dignity of his undoubtedly high office—whichever it is—he has made his choice.
John Bercow: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. My advice to the Minister is simply to project. I know he will do so unfailingly.
John Bercow: ...doctor. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) is a very distinguished fellow, but he is not a doctor. We will come to him in due course. I call Dr Caroline Johnson.
John Bercow: We come now to the general debate on principles of democracy and the rights of the electorate. We have until 5 o’clock. I have spoken to the Minister, who has undertaken to try to deliver an economical speech, although of course he does have the Floor and it is important that we hear the Government’s position.
John Bercow: Order. Before I call the shadow Secretary of State, it might be helpful if I indicate an intention to move on at 1.50 pm.
John Bercow: I am not taking a slew of points of order now. I will take the one from the hon. Member for Leeds East (Richard Burgon) of which I had advance notice. [Interruption.] Order. I say very gently to the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Angus Brendan MacNeil), whom I am accustomed to indulging, that I think the House wishes to hear the business statement from the Leader of the House. I will...
John Bercow: I referred earlier to events in the Chamber yesterday, and what I am about to say I say as much for the benefit of those observing our proceedings as for Members of the House, as I think it extremely important that our proceedings are accessible to the people who are interested in them. In light of the appalling atmosphere in the Chamber yesterday, and the toxicity that that can spawn or...
John Bercow: Order. It might be helpful to colleagues if I indicate that, while wishing to accommodate the legitimate and not inconsiderable interest in this urgent question, I want also to move on to the next urgent question at or close to midday. There is, therefore, a premium on brevity from Back and Front Benchers alike.
John Bercow: Such illustrious colleagues! It is very hard to choose—wow. Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.
John Bercow: Order. Can I very gently say to the hon. Gentleman that he must rattle through the remainder of the questions very quickly, without drama? Very quickly—please.
John Bercow: Before we get under way with today’s business, including a number of urgent questions and statements, I just want to say a few words to the House. I think there is a widespread sense across the House and beyond that, yesterday, the House did itself no credit. There was an atmosphere in the Chamber worse than any I have known in my 22 years in the House. On both sides, passions were...
John Bercow: Order. Before I ask the Leader of the House to respond, I should like to emphasise, because it has been a long day, although we are, arguably, just getting going, that this is a narrow business statement. I do not use the term “narrow” in any pejorative sense; it is narrow in the sense that it is tightly focused on the proposed business for tomorrow. I certainly would not have dreamed of...