Margaret Beckett debates with Leader of the House

There have been 5 exchanges between Margaret Beckett and Leader of the House

Tue 22nd October 2019 Business of the House 5 interactions (197 words)
Mon 1st April 2019 Business of the House 3 interactions (111 words)
Wed 27th March 2019 Business of the House 3 interactions (50 words)
Thu 17th January 2019 Business of the House 3 interactions (169 words)
Wed 19th December 2018 Points of Order 5 interactions (120 words)

Business of the House

Margaret Beckett Excerpts
Tuesday 22nd October 2019

(11 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Leader of the House
Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg Portrait Mr Rees-Mogg - Hansard
22 Oct 2019, 8:04 p.m.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for a characteristically good idea as to how we might be able to proceed. The only difficulty is that the programme motion has been voted down, and to sit in the way my hon. Friend suggests would require another programme motion, and there is no indication that that would meet with greater satisfaction from the Opposition. The House of Lords also has to consider this Bill in due time, so I fear that his great solution is not going to be a way forward.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett (Derby South) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 Oct 2019, 8:05 p.m.

I had not intended to seek to intervene on this exchange, but I am so offended by the remarks of the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) that I feel inclined to do so.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 Oct 2019, 8:05 p.m.

The truth hurts.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 Oct 2019, 8:05 p.m.

It is not the truth; it is in fact something which we are only allowed to call a terminological inexactitude—in other words, it is absolute rubbish to suggest that people who voted against this programme motion only did so in order to delay Brexit or because they are opposed to Brexit. Any hon. Member who understands their duties in this place should never have voted for this programme motion in the first place. I say further that the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), who is a former leader of the Conservative party, is equally at fault in not understanding when the sensible thing to do is to accept with good grace the very generous and sensible offer immediately made by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition.

Finally, on the question of limbo, I rather thought one had to be pure of soul to get in, so not many people are going to end up there.

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg Portrait Mr Rees-Mogg - Parliament Live - Hansard

I think the original understanding of limbo—one that is no longer widely accepted—is that it was a place for the souls of the unbaptised and for those who died before salvation was brought to us at the point of the Resurrection, but I think the understanding now is that that is rather a narrow interpretation.

The issue of what motivates people to vote in this House is one that is always very difficult to settle. I have always accepted that hon. and right hon. Members in this House want what is best for the country, but think that there are different ways to do it. But we must draw conclusions from people’s actions, and I do not think it is unreasonable to conclude that people who voted against the Second Reading of this Bill and against the programme motion are not the greatest admirers of the proposals towards Brexit.

Business of the House

Margaret Beckett Excerpts
Monday 1st April 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Leader of the House
Sir Bernard Jenkin Portrait Sir Bernard Jenkin - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 Apr 2019, 4:15 p.m.

I am deliberately not going to become involved in that argument, but my hon. Friend knows that I do not believe that the withdrawal agreement delivers Brexit.

What policy decisions would be eligible to be made through this procedure in the future? Why not decide taxation policy like this, or social security? I well remember my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe, when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, giving stinging rebukes to those who voted down his policy on increasing VAT on fuel. It is a bad thing for a Government to lose a vote on a taxation measure in a Budget, but just imagine handing over the entire Budget proposals to the House of Commons to be voted on in this way.

The vote to leave was in part to reverse the democratic deficit of the institutions of the European Union and to restore national democratic accountability. Whatever anyone’s view, that should be uncontroversial. The EU’s elected Parliament is blighted by low turnouts, and I doubt that anyone other than those who follow these issues most minutely could name with any certainty more than one or two of the candidates to be the next President of the European Commission, which is of course a legislative body. If we are to respond to the mandate expressed in the referendum, it cannot be right that we corrode our own system of parliamentary government by making it less accountable to voters in elections and rendering its process more inaccessible and confusing.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett (Derby South) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 Apr 2019, 4:17 p.m.

Being something of a traditionalist in these matters, I have a good deal of sympathy with the points that the hon. Gentleman is making. I very much dislike the necessity, which has been forced on the House, to take control of the business from the Government because they are simply not doing their business. However, I would have much more sympathy for the complaint being made by him and some of his friends if they ever seemed to notice the constitutional innovation that has been practised many times by this Prime Minister when something has been voted on in this House and the result of that vote has simply been ignored.

Sir Bernard Jenkin Portrait Sir Bernard Jenkin - Hansard

“Ignored” is the operative word that the right hon. Lady uses. Obviously, it is and should always be the practice of Governments to respect the will of the House as expressed in a motion. However, as Mr Speaker himself has confirmed, a motion is merely an expression of opinion, and it is up to the Government to decide how to respond to that opinion. This underlines how, in our system, a Government propose and Parliament disposes. Parliament does not take over the Government’s role, which is what is being proposed in this process.

Business of the House

Margaret Beckett Excerpts
Wednesday 27th March 2019

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Leader of the House
Sir Oliver Letwin Hansard
27 Mar 2019, 1:51 p.m.

I little imagined that we would find ourselves debating the sequence of our constitutional history, but because my hon. Friend is genuinely learned in the matter and this may be my only opportunity ever to have this debate with him in the House of Commons before—thank goodness—I leave it, I want to explain to him that the succeeding history of our country was virtually focused on a debate about that very matter. It was because the House of Commons refused to be dominated by Privy Counsellors that all the things that happened in the later 16th and 17th centuries happened. I am on the side of those in the House whom I actually thought that, on the whole, my hon. Friend was on the side of, who wish to assert, over and against the Executive, that, ultimately, sovereignty lies here and not in Whitehall.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett (Derby South) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
27 Mar 2019, 1:51 p.m.

I am not entirely at one with the right hon. Gentleman, although I have some sympathy with the point that is being made. Surely, however, what we should recognise is that the House has been driven to these unusual proceedings today because the Government have failed to do their job.

Sir Oliver Letwin Parliament Live - Hansard
27 Mar 2019, 1:51 p.m.

We have a stellar constellation here today. The right hon. Lady is another very distinguished Member of the House who has held almost every post imaginable. She tempts me to do what I shall not do, which is to observe that the failure to reach cross-party consensus on this matter had two sides, and it would have been better if the two sides had worked together. That did not happen, and it is because it did not happen that we were at the mercy of the votes of some of my hon. Friends, and that is why we are where we are. I think the right hon. Lady will agree that what matters now is none of that history; what matters now is the fact that we are where we are, and we need to find a solution. That is what this is all about.

Business of the House

Margaret Beckett Excerpts
Thursday 17th January 2019

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Leader of the House
Andrea Leadsom Portrait Andrea Leadsom - Parliament Live - Hansard
17 Jan 2019, 10:58 a.m.

My right hon. Friend will be aware that the motion to agree how we proceed on the motion will itself be amendable and debatable, and what will take place will require the House’s agreement.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett (Derby South) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard
17 Jan 2019, 10:58 a.m.

I should like to declare an interest. Some years ago, when we were in a minority Government, I was in our Whips Office. Since then, for some five years, I was either shadow Leader of the House or Leader of the House. I feel an old-fashioned sense of unease when I hear people exploring options that might lead to the Government reducing or losing their control of the business of the House. However, that is of course entirely unnecessary. It is within the remit of the Government, using their access to the Order Paper, to facilitate exploration of where the will of the House lies. I strongly urge the Leader of the House to consider and explore, in consultation with colleagues, ways in which the Government might do that in order to facilitate the House’s expression of its wishes—the Prime Minister says she wants it to come to a decision—rather than, as has perhaps inadvertently happened in the past, almost obstructing the expression of the will of the House.

Mr Speaker Hansard
17 Jan 2019, 10:59 a.m.

Order. When the right hon. Member for Derby South (Margaret Beckett) served as Leader of the House, she was such a good Leader of the House and so popular and respected on both sides that I recall from 20 years ago that when we feared from press reports that her role as Leader of the House was at risk, the right hon. Members for New Forest West (Sir Desmond Swayne), for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) and for Buckingham (John Bercow) all sprang to our feet during business questions to insist that she must remain in her place.

Points of Order

Margaret Beckett Excerpts
Wednesday 19th December 2018

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Leader of the House
Mr Speaker Hansard

All I—[Interruption.] Order. [Interruption.] Order. I am not seeking to refute what the hon. Gentleman is saying—[Interruption.] Order. I am simply saying I did not witness it. The Clerk of the House and the other Clerks at the Table did not witness it—[Interruption.] Order. I am sorry, I cannot be expected immediately—[Interruption.] Order. It is no good somebody waving something at me. I cannot be expected immediately to pronounce guilt or innocence. [Interruption.] No, no I cannot be expected—[Interruption.] What I reiterate to the hon. Gentleman—[Interruption.] Order. I will deal with it in a moment. What I reiterate to the hon. Gentleman is that Members are responsible for their own conduct and should apologise if they have committed a misdemeanour—[Interruption.] It is no good a Member standing by the Chair and trying to show me something. I would say—[Interruption.] What I say to the hon. Gentleman—[Interruption.] Order. What I say to the hon. Gentleman is that the Leader of the Opposition will have heard of the allegations that have been made—[Interruption.] He will have heard the allegations—[Interruption.] Order. If the right hon. Gentleman, in the light of those, chose to come to the House and to respond, I am sure that would be appreciated by the House.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett (Derby South) (Lab) - Hansard
19 Dec 2018, 12:59 p.m.

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I understand the observations made by the right hon. Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry), and I hope I bow to no one in my wish to see the courtesies of this House observed, but do you believe that it is in order for what appears to be becoming almost an orchestrated riot to take place? [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
19 Dec 2018, 12:59 p.m.

Order. No, I am sorry. Hon. and—[Interruption.] Order. Hon. and right hon. Members have raised points of order, and they have been heard and they have been answered. The notion that the right hon. Lady stands to raise a point of order and is then shouted down—[Interruption.] Don’t “no” to me. That is exactly what an attempt was being made to achieve and it is not going to work.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett - Hansard
19 Dec 2018, 1:02 p.m.

Certainly, Mr Speaker, it does seem to me—and I have been in this House for some many years—that an attempt is presently being made to shout you down. There is much serious business before this House and I would be astonished if a single one of our constituents does not view these scenes with utter contempt.

Mr Speaker Hansard
19 Dec 2018, 12:59 p.m.

I thank the right hon. Lady for what she has said.