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Point of Order

Volume 585: debated on Tuesday 2 September 2014

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I wanted to raise a number of questions today regarding the appointment of Carol Mills and, in particular, the consultants, Saxton Bampfylde. These questions need to be addressed to Mr Speaker, who I see has scurried off. I am just wondering whether that was always planned or whether perhaps he was avoiding such questions.

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that I was meant to take the Chair earlier and that when I took over Mr Speaker had been in the Chair for longer than expected. The hon. Gentleman has made his point, but it is not a matter for the Chair. I reassure the House that Mr Speaker does not scurry away.

Further to that point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. As Mr Speaker cannot be here, because, as you have just explained, he has other engagements that demand his presence, would you be able to find out some information for us, which would be extremely helpful? Is the status of the letter that Mr Speaker sent to No. 10 Downing street with his recommendation that Ms Mills should be appointed—

Order. I can save the right hon. Gentleman any further effort. That is not a matter for the Chair. The right hon. Gentleman is a very able Member of the House and will be able to pursue it in other ways.

The last thing I want to do, Mr Deputy Speaker, is to test you or your patience, but I would like some elaboration. Given that it was Mr Speaker who wrote to the Prime Minister with the recommendation of the panel or the commission as to who should be appointed to the job, how can it not come within the rules of points of order to seek information from Mr Speaker about the status of the letter and whether it can be withdrawn from No. 10 while the pause goes on? If it cannot be withdrawn, it rather suggests that the pause is not very sincere or meaningful.

I am sure that everything in this House is sincere and meaningful, but it is a matter for the chair of the commission. It is not a matter for me in this Chair at this moment.