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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 719: debated on Wednesday 21 September 2022

I must report that on Monday 12 September the House attended His Majesty in Westminster Hall with an Address expressing the House’s condolences on the occasion of the death of His Majesty’s mother the late Queen, in reply to which His Majesty was pleased to make a most Gracious Speech, which I shall cause to be entered into the Journal.

I should like to inform the House that I have received a great many letters of condolence on the occasion of the death of Her late Majesty the Queen from our friends and colleagues in other Parliaments and countries around the globe. With the permission of the House, I will respond appropriately on the House’s behalf and also arrange for the original letters to be published on the parliamentary website. I will respond to any further letters in the same way. We are extremely grateful to our fellow parliamentarians across the world for their thoughts at this time.

I also want to put on record my gratitude to all those who helped ensure that the events of the last 10 days or so have been managed with such dignity and brilliance, albeit in the saddest of circumstances. That includes, of course, many outside this House, including our armed services, the police and countless others, but I want to say a very special thank you to all those parliamentary staff, including colleagues who volunteered to take on roles beyond their day jobs, who contributed. You ensured that Parliament was able to play its part safely, respectfully and with pride, so I am extremely grateful for all that has been done.

Today, I shall invite hon. Members to swear the Oath or make the solemn Affirmation to His Majesty. The arrangements for swearing in are set out in the announcements section of the Order Paper. There is no procedural or statutory requirement to swear or affirm. Excepting those Members who took the Oath or affirmed at our previous sitting, I propose to call first members of the Cabinet, then members of the shadow Cabinet, and then all Privy Counsellors not included in those two groups, wherever they may be sitting. Thereafter, I shall call all other Ministers, then other shadow Ministers, followed by hon. Members broadly according to the Parliament of their first entry or, for those with broken service, that of the most recent entry. The first cohort will be those who have been Members since before the 2015 election.

I propose to remain in the Chair until 1 pm today, and then to return at 2.30 pm, continuing until 6 pm, with a later session if necessary. There will be brief suspensions around the times indicated in the Order Paper. I remind Members that swearing in is recorded by the television cameras, and that anything said or done by Members may appear on television or may be picked up on the microphones.