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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 453: debated on Wednesday 15 November 2006

As the House will recall, it was agreed that the Speaker should make a brief statement at the beginning of each Session about the duties and responsibilities of Members.

Our privileges allow us to conduct our debate without fear of outside interference. [An Hon. Member: “Tell the Whips!”] We cannot go that far. In particular, we enjoy freedom of speech, in both Committee proceedings and debates on the Floor of the House, and it is a privilege that comes with our membership. It is up to each of us to ensure that, as individuals and collectively, we do not misuse the rights that we have been given. They should be exercised in the public interest. We must ensure that we follow the letter and spirit of the code of conduct and related rules that we have approved to regulate our business.

Each Member is here to represent the views of his or her constituents and to participate in the process of democracy. We should ensure that every Member is heard with the respect to which we are all entitled, regardless of the views that are being expressed.

Every member of the public has the right to expect that his or her Member of Parliament will behave with civility, in the best traditions of fairness, with the highest level of probity and with integrity.

I turn now to security, not only for Members of Parliament, but also for our staff and for the staff of this House, who work so hard on our behalf to ensure that the House of Commons continues its tradition of welcoming the maximum number of visitors, both from home and abroad. I expect every Member of this House to co-operate fully with those officials who are responsible for our security, which ensures that our democratic process is not disrupted.



A Bill for the more effectual preventing Clandestine Outlawries was read the First time, and ordered to be read a Second time.