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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 626: debated on Wednesday 21 June 2017

Colleagues, let us begin by standing for a minute of silence as we remember the terrible events that have occurred in Manchester, and at London Bridge, Grenfell Tower and Finsbury Park.

The House observed a minute’s silence.

The House has directed the Speaker to make a statement at the beginning of each Session about the duties and responsibilities of Members of this House.

I begin by reminding Members of our duty to observe the code of conduct agreed by the House, and to behave with civility and fairness in all their dealings. In our proceedings, every Member should be heard courteously, whatever their views. The House asserts its privilege of freedom of speech so that we can represent our constituents without fear or favour. We must exercise that privilege responsibly. It applies only to our work in this House; as private individuals we are equal under the law with those whom we represent.

Parliament must be open to those whom it represents, and we must continue to make our constituents welcome here. The security of this building and of those who work and visit here depends upon all of us. We have a duty to be vigilant, and to assist those whose job it is to maintain this place as a safe place to work. I ask you all to wear your passes wherever you are on the parliamentary estate, and I remind you that you should not use your mobile phones or any other device to film or take photographs in or around the Chamber.

Before moving to the first business of the new Parliament, I would like to express my very best wishes for the forthcoming Session to all Members—both new and returning—and all those who work here. I also send best wishes to those former Members not returned at the election, and thank them for their service to this House and to our democratic process—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] Finally, I remind Members that the coat of arms of our departed friend and colleague, Jo Cox, will be unveiled this Saturday, 24 June. If you would like to attend and have not yet so indicated, please get in touch with my office.

Outlawries Bill

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