John Bercow: One sentence.
John Bercow: Order. This is very unfair on the Minister, who is answering a question about the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past. This is a matter of the utmost seriousness and solemnity and I think that the Minister and the questioner should be accorded respect.
John Bercow: Order. Mr Burghart, you are an educated young man. When you came into the House, you struck me as a very well behaved fellow. Calm yourself and listen.
John Bercow: The hon. Gentleman makes his own point in his own way. It is very clear, it is on the record, and doubtless, as he hopes, it will be picked up elsewhere. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman pessimistically chunters from a sedentary position, “and ignored”. He should have more belief in himself and more faith in the force of his own message. [Interruption.] The former Government Chief Whip...
John Bercow: I think I was going to hear a point of order from Mr Blomfield and then I will come to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone).
John Bercow: The question is actually about the fiscal effects of the no recourse to public funds condition. I think I know what the hon. Lady is driving at, but I hope that other people are as aware of the connection as I am.
John Bercow: I call Anneliese Dodds. [Interruption.] No? I had the distinct impression that the hon. Lady wished to come in on this question, but it is not obligatory.
John Bercow: Anneliese Dodds.
John Bercow: I have been saving the hon. Gentleman up for the delectation of the House: Mr Barry Sheerman.
John Bercow: What an agreeable and benevolent fellow the Minister is. We are deeply obliged to him.
John Bercow: Put a copy of the answer in the Library of the House—we will all find it most informative.
John Bercow: What we want is a brief sentence on the Government’s policy. We are not having dilations on the policies of other parties; that is not the purpose of Question Time.
John Bercow: The hon. Lady was admirably succinct. It is comparatively rare for a colleague to fall so short of the three minutes but nevertheless to have conveyed the point. The House is grateful to her. I have listened carefully to her application. I am not persuaded that this matter is proper to be discussed under Standing Order No. 24, but I want to add the following to complete what I regard as a...
John Bercow: The short answer is: persist. The matter is not to be directly addressed from the Chair in the sense that as far as I know, it does not appertain to remarks made in the Chamber. That does not, in any sense, diminish its importance, but it does change the matter of the aegis within which it falls. It is not a matter upon which I can arbitrate. However, I champion the principle of courtesy...
John Bercow: That is all very well, but I thought that the Minister was seeking to group this question with Question 14.
John Bercow: Well, we are certainly better informed, but it looks as though we can look forward to a good deal more banging on from the right hon. Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh) on this important matter.
John Bercow: Yes, but I think that I can say with confidence from the Chair that a written statement will simply not meet the needs of the case, given the appetite—I am grateful for the nod of affirmation from the right hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Sir Michael Fallon), the former Secretary of State for Defence. The House will clearly wish to question Ministers on the matter, and therefore it needs to be...
John Bercow: A very small number of Members more wish to speak; one sentence each.
John Bercow: Order. This is an important statement and I am keen to accommodate all would-be questioners on it, but I remind the House that there are two debates to follow, the protection of time for which is also a priority for the Chair. Therefore, notwithstanding the insatiable enthusiasm of colleagues for putting full inquiries on this matter, I appeal for brevity.
John Bercow: May I just say a big thank you to the shadow Leader of the House for that tribute to Philippa Helme? I first came to know Philippa in 1997 when I was appointed to the Welsh Affairs Committee, of which she was the extremely accomplished Clerk, and I have known her for the last 22 years. As the shadow Leader said, she has served the House with great distinction, and I look forward very much to...