HC Deb 14 June 2001 vol 370 cc12-20
Mr. Speaker

I must now call upon the Members of the House, according to the usual custom, to take the Oath of Allegiance at the Table of the House, first doing so myself.

Thereupon MR. SPEAKER first, alone, standing upon the upper step of the Chair, took and subscribed the Oath.

Mr. Speaker

Before Members take the Oath or affirm, I remind the House of the ruling of my predecessor regarding the use of facilities by Members who have not taken their seats. The services of the Departments of the House, as specified by my predecessor, will not be available to Members who have not taken the Oath or affirmed before the date of the Queen's Speech, next Wednesday. The only exception will be Members who, before that date, have sent me a letter informing me that, for health or other good reasons, they cannot attend to take their seats immediately after the election but desire to do so at the earliest possible moment.

It may be for the convenience of the House if I indicate my intentions with regard to the taking of the Oath by right. hon. and hon. Members. I propose to call, first, the members of the Cabinet; then the shadow Cabinet; then all Privy Councillors not included in those two groups, wherever they may be sitting; and then other Ministers. Thereafter I shall call other hon. Members according to seniority determined on the basis of the Parliament of first entry or, for those with broken service, that of most recent entry.

The first batch will be those elected in or before the 1983 Parliament. Thereafter I shall proceed to call Members to take the Oath or affirm by successive Parliaments. I hope that, by late this afternoon, we will have made sufficient progress to enable all Members to swear in who wish to do so, up to and including those elected to the 1992 Parliament. The House will sit again tomorrow at 9.30, when I shall call Members first elected to the 1997 Parliament or to the current Parliament as well as Members elected to earlier Parliaments who were not able to take the Oath today.

Finally, the House will meet again next Tuesday at 2.30 to enable Members to take the Oath who were not able to do so this week.

Those arrangements are very similar to those adopted at the start of the previous Parliament in 1997, and they follow the recommendations of the Procedure Committee. I hope that this announcement will be helpful to Members in planning their programmes. Progress will depend, of course, on the number of Members wishing to take the Oath at any particular time. I advise Members to watch the annunciators to establish progress, and to speak to their Whips.

I also hope that Members will come forward in an orderly manner. I remind Members that the taking of the Oath, as a proceeding of the House, is recorded by the television cameras and that anything said by Members may appear on television or be picked up by microphones. Let us now begin.

The following Members took and subscribed the Oath, or made and subscribed the Affirmation required by law:

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