(1 month, 1 week ago)Read Full debate
This is absolutely fascinating, but we are not going to embark upon a philosophical discussion on the matter of sovereignty. This treats of the business of the House for Monday, nothing more, nothing less; brevity is required.
(5 months ago)Read Full debate
For the benefit of people observing our proceedings who are not Members of the House I would simply add, non-pejoratively, that raising something weekly in the Chamber is a very modest effort. Raising things daily, or in some cases several times a day, is by no means unknown in, or condemned by, the House of Commons. It is perfectly normal.
(9 months ago)Read Full debate
The debate will be held today as the first item of public business after the ten-minute rule motion. The debate will last for up to three hours, and will arise on a motion that the House has considered the specified matter set out in the motion of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun.
Well, Mr Brown. I hope, at least for now, that you are satisfied with the result of your prodigious efforts. The debate will come in due course.
I am happy to accommodate the right hon. Gentleman. The presence of the Secretary of State for Transport is not ornamental. He has come into the Chamber, and my very clear understanding from him is that he wishes to speak in the debate. My expectation is that he will speak relatively early.
(9 months, 1 week ago)Read Full debate
Well, the Secretary of State has said what he has said, and colleagues will make their own assessment of it. I thank him for coming to the Dispatch Box.
I think that the right hon. Gentleman’s question was more rhetorical than not, and there was not really a question mark at the end of it. I can only say, for my own part, that when discharging my duties to the best of my ability this morning, I was rather under the impression that the urgent question was about the cancellation of the contract on account of legal action and that it was to do with Seaborne Freight. It may be that my interpretation was notably eccentric, but I do not think so. I think I was pretty clear what it was about, and that my assessment was shared by the team that accompanies me at the 12 o’clock meeting on a Monday morning.
(1 year ago)Read Full debate
I call Daniel Kawczynski. He is not here. Mr Richard Graham. Not here. I hope that neither of the Members concerned is indisposed. It is most unlike them not to be present, but they were informed of the grouping, I am sure, by the Government. [Interruption.] Okay—thank you. Well, never mind—they are not here and we cannot take them, but other Members are here, and we are delighted to see it. Mr David Hanson.
(1 year, 1 month ago)Read Full debate
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will have the tribute framed. It would be very disappointing if he did not.
(1 year, 5 months ago)Read Full debate
Order. I allowed some injury time on two accounts. The first was that I had to intervene a number of times in regularising the debate. The second was that I wanted to facilitate a reasonable number of questions, so I ran the urgent question for half an hour, rather than for 20 minutes. I am sorry that some colleagues are disappointed, but I think that was a reasonable treatment of the issue. I gather that the right hon. Member for Delyn (David Hanson) has a point of order that directly flows from the urgent question, and if he puts it extremely briefly, I will hear it, although I offer no guarantee of any response.
Nothing disorderly has happened. It is perfectly in order for the Secretary of State not to write to the right hon. Gentleman. In retrospect, it might have been wise for her to do so, but the past is the past and, to be fair, it is not for me to arbitrate on the merits or demerits of policy or even, outside the Chamber, of conduct. Suffice it to say that the Secretary of State did approach me and offered to come to the House yesterday, which she did. [Interruption.] She approached me the day before yesterday about coming here yesterday. She has come here today and we have had a half-hour exchange, which seems to me to be very reasonable. We must now move on to the next business.
(1 year, 7 months ago)Read Full debate
Order. Colleagues need not worry. Their questions will be reached, but the Chair has to react to the development of events, to which I and some colleagues are privy and others are not. If you are not already confused, you will now be.
(1 year, 8 months ago)Read Full debate
Order. More than 30 right hon. and hon. Members are still seeking to catch my eye, but I remind the House that there is a statement to follow and then two debates under the auspices of the Backbench Business Committee, of which the first is enormously heavily subscribed. There is a premium on brevity— to wit, single-sentence questions and replies that are comparably brief.
(1 year, 11 months ago)Read Full debate
Order. I gently point out, in respect of this extremely serious matter, that the statement has now been running for over half an hour, but we have had only 10 Back-Bench questions. To be candid, we need shorter questions—not people’s observations, comments, tributes and commendations—and then brief replies from the Secretary of State.
(2 years ago)Read Full debate
Extraordinary behaviour! The right hon. Gentleman is a distinguished former Northern Ireland Minister; he is entitled to be heard with courtesy, at the very least by Members on his own Benches.
(2 years, 4 months ago)Read Full debate
Order. Just before I call the first speaker from the Back Benches, I should say that at this stage I have not imposed any formal time limit, but a substantial number of people wish to contribute. Therefore, I know that the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Nadhim Zahawi) will exercise a magnificent self-denying ordinance in the length of his oration.
Do we really have to have it? I know what I am doing and am perfectly capable of handling the matter. If it is about the order of speeches—
No, no. I do not need to be advised by the right hon. Gentleman on the handling of the debate. Let me just say that in so far as this was not clear, it was as a result of a failure of communication between the two Front-Bench teams. These matters should be sorted out between the Government and the Opposition, not with people yapping at each other across the Floor of the House or very close to the Speaker’s Chair. The Speaker is happy to give effect to what the two sides of the House want, within reason, but that was not made easy on this occasion, and I am seeking to address the matter by consensus. I know that the right hon. Gentleman means well and his offer of assistance is greatly appreciated, but I do not need to take him up on it on this occasion.
(2 years, 5 months ago)Read Full debate
I hope that I pronounced correctly the surname of the hon. Member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (Andrew C. Bowie). If I may be permitted, I hope even further that the hon. Gentleman is as devoted an admirer of the late and great David Bowie as I have been for the last 40 years.