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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 718: debated on Monday 18 July 2022

Before we start today’s business, I want to say something about the exceptional heat. While the Chamber is kept at a consistently comfortable temperature, I accept that that is not the case in all offices and that Members have to move around the estate. Therefore, while the heat remains at this exceptional level and for the remainder of this week, I am content for Members not to wear jackets or ties in the Chamber, if they so choose. When the House returns in the autumn, I will expect Members to revert to wearing a jacket. The Deputy Speakers and I will strongly encourage male Members to wear ties when speaking in the Chamber—or you might find it harder to get called.

I can now announce the arrangements for the election of a new Chair of the Science and Technology Committee. Nominations are open and will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 13 September. Nomination forms are available from the Vote Office, the Table Office and the Public Bill Office. Following the House’s decision of 16 January 2020, only Conservative party Members may be candidates. If there is more than one candidate, the ballot will take place on Wednesday 14 September from 11 am to 2.30 pm in the Aye Lobby. A briefing note with more information about the election will be made available in the Vote Office.

Finally, before we come to Defence questions, I want to wish a very happy 80th birthday to Peter Hipkins. Peter has worked in the House since 1973 and is a service delivery co-ordinator in the In-House Services and Estates Team. I am sure that the whole House will want to join me in wishing Peter a very happy birthday and thanking him for 49 years of service to the House.