HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 cc19-20
46. Mr. Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock)

What representations she has received concerning the recommendation of the Select Committee on the Modernisation of the House of Commons for the appointment of Deputy Speakers for sittings in Westminster Hall. [91384]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office (Mr. Paddy Tipping)

A few representations on this subject have been received and a motion will be put before the House after the recess covering this and other arrangements for sittings in Westminster Hall.

Mr. Mackinlay

Will the Government restore to Parliament as a whole and to Back Benchers in particular the right to choose their own officers? Does my hon. Friend consider that it is now inappropriate for Deputy Speakers to be appointed through the usual channels and that the Government and the Opposition Front Bench should have no hand in it whatsoever? Should not this be the subject of a free vote by Back Benchers because it is our property? Secondly, and not unimportantly, Deputy Speakers tend to be a curia from which Speakers are chosen. It is appropriate that this House and Back Benchers choose our Deputy Speakers in future. What does he say?

Mr. Tipping

I say what I said a moment ago: a motion will be brought before the House after the summer recess and before the next Session. Of course, Members will have an opportunity to vote on it. Let me remind my hon. Friend that the Modernisation Committee report recommended that the four senior members of the Chairmen's Panel should acquire those posts.

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