Results 21–40 of 14000 for in the 'Commons debates' speaker:Jack Straw

Business of the House: Backbench Business — Iraq Inquiry (29 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I have no information about any of the process of declassification. At the same time, my hope is that in the Maxwellisation process, which is only “currently” under way, no one is suggesting that any person who is the subject of provisional criticisms by the inquiry should not be given a proper opportunity to consider those and to respond, with sufficient time, proportionate to the volume...

Business of the House: Backbench Business — Iraq Inquiry (29 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: With great respect, it was not. I have looked at the precedents. There can be inquiries in the middle of wars. I have looked, as it happens, at the precedents of the Dardanelles and the Crimea. A contemporaneous report of the conclusions of the report on the Crimea, which were read out to the House by the Clerk for one hour and 25 minutes, spells out that the difficulty of the task “has...

Business of the House: Backbench Business — Iraq Inquiry (29 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I am just coming to the end. Everyone bears a heavy responsibility for ensuring that the inquiry is not put in a position where it becomes impossible to conduct a fair process and reach a fair and independent conclusion. As the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden importantly noted outside the House on 14 January: “The purpose of the inquiry is not vilification or vindication—it...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I thank all 14 right hon. and hon. Members who contributed to this very interesting debate. I particularly thank the members of the Committee—which I had the privilege to chair—and the Leader and Deputy Leader of the House. Before I respond to a few of the points that have been raised, I want to underline the tribute that the Leader of the House paid to his predecessor Leon Brittan, whose...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: It is odd, but I last met him and his wife in an airport lounge when we were whiling away about three hours as we waited for a late plane. I cannot remember which airport it was, but I do remember that the conversation was very entertaining. Let me now deal with some of the points that have been made today. My hon. Friend the Member for Walsall North (Mr Winnick) raised the issue—which was...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: rose—

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: Thank you—I have got your point, Madam Deputy Speaker. The right hon. Member for North West Hampshire (Sir George Young) and the hon. Member for New Forest East both raised the issue of the relationship between the Clerk and the director general. We thought about this a great deal, and I say to both of them that even in institutions where the wiring diagram is very clear and there are...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: Had a cold shower been available, I would have taken it; the problem was that there was no shower.

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I beg to move, That this House welcomes the report of the House of Commons Governance Committee; notes the priority it has given to agreeing a package of proposals which can both significantly improve the governance of the House and be capable of attracting support from Members on all sides of the House, in a timely manner and well before the House is dissolved; agrees to the recommendations...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I am extremely grateful to my right hon. Friend. When she rose as I was speaking about leaks, I thought perhaps she had something to say about her work as a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee, but I was on the wrong track. Of course she is right about that, and I greatly welcome the initiative that you, Mr Speaker, have taken. We have endeavoured to ensure that all our...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I should also say that my general remarks about Whips exclude him, as a pairing Whip, because I have to ingratiate myself with him on a regular basis.

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: But not very often. The House will note that the recommendation of our report was that the Chairs of both those Committees should be chosen by the Commission itself from the four Back-Bench Members who, in turn, would be elected by the House. However, the motion before the House today proposes a variation to that recommendation, stating that “without changing the party balance of the...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his intervention and for his evidence. We did come to the issue from different perspectives, but the fact that this is a unanimous report does not reflect any sense of it coming from a search of the lowest common denominators—rather, the highest common factors. I will come on to the issue of implementation in a moment. A second reform that we...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I accept that there are such problems. This is a grade I listed building. I do not dispute the dedication of staff, but stronger leadership and greater clarity are needed. We propose that the position of Clerk and chief executive should be split. There should in future be a Clerk, and working alongside her or him, there should be a new post of director general of the House of Commons. We had...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: Let me go through the arrangements. Once I have done that, it will become easier to answer the hon. Gentleman’s point. To secure a unified House service, we concluded, as paragraph 166 sets out, that the Clerk should continue to be head of the House service and thus formally the line manager of the director general. However, the new director general will have a considerable degree of...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. We make recommendations about and acknowledge the work that has been done. In recruiting to any senior post, including the Clerk and the director general, we must take full account of the need to improve diversity in all ways in this place.

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: With luck, this report will not be particularly uncomfortable to anybody, but it will involve major change—above all, for traditionalists, if there are such, in this House.

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman, not least because, as I acknowledged in my opening remarks, he co-sponsored the resolution that led to the establishment of the Committee. Those who have had to put up with it can smile about what has been going on in the bowels of the old Canon Row police station, but I very much hope that the Commission might examine, as a case study, what went...

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I hope that is the case. Putting the non-executive members on to the Commission, with all their outside experience, should ensure that the input into a longer-term strategy is where it should be, which is ultimately with the Commission. I want to conclude—

House of Commons Governance (22 Jan 2015)

Jack Straw: I agree with my right hon. Friend on the timing. I was going to make some remarks about that as I concluded. On the face of it, splitting the current Clerk/chief executive post will mean two salaries in place of one. The House has made commendable progress in reducing the costs of this place by 17% in the past few years. We were very clear that this particular reform would have to be...


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