Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/hfgb3r

John Bercow - Speaker of the House of Commons June 2009 – November 2019

5 January 2022


And I tended to take the view that the purpose of this place is to debate and vote, and I was rather unsympathetic to whips saying, ‘Colleagues are tired, they want to go home.’ And sometimes part of the job of the Speaker is to protect minorities and allow their propositions to be put. [...] Was I bothered about that? Do you know, there was hardly a week of my Speakership, under both Governments or all Governments – the Labour Government and then the Coalition Government and then the Conservative-only Government and then the hung Parliament – when I wasn’t bothered about the Government of the day briefing something to the media or having a minister pop up on the Today programme to ann. [...] Or they would say, ‘Well, actually, XYZ Minister is planning to the come to the House anyway.’ And to that I tended to say, ‘Well the answer to that is the Page 13/36 statement to the House should be first. [...] And he would often turn round and say to me, up to when he left in 2014, ‘Mr Speaker, I think everything has been said, but not yet by everybody.’ And that was his way of saying, ‘Draw a line under it.’ And I tended to take the view, ‘No, I prefer to give more people the chance to contribute, particularly if that’s the big-ticket item of the day.’ The fact that somebody is waiting to introduce the. [...] And I said, ‘Yes, but the non-invocation of the doctrine in the past is attributable not to the fact that it doesn’t apply to the Government, but to the Government’s general compliance with it.