Archive for the ‘House of Commons’ Category

Procedure for the election of Speaker tomorrow

21 June 2009

From PoliticsHome on 12th June:

9:30: Michael Martin is no longer Speaker of the House. The Chair is immediately assumed by the Father of the House, who is currently Alan Williams – the Labour Member for Swansea West since 1964.

09:30 to 10:30: There is a one hour window for nominations to be Speaker to be formally lodged with the clerks at the Table Office. Nominations must be in writing, and must consist of a signed statement of intent by the candidate, accompanied by not fewer than twelve and not more than fifteen signatures of other Members, of which at least three must be from a different party than their own. No Member can nominate more than one person.

11:00: Lists of the candidates are placed in the lobby and published.

14:30: The candidates are permitted each to address the House. The order of speaking will be decided by lot (arranged by the Father of the House). After all the candidates have spoken, proceedings will move directly to the first ballot. The presiding member (Alan Williams) will not be allowed to vote.

16:00: The first secret ballot takes place in the lobbies. Each member will be provided with a ballot paper with the list of candidates listed in alphabetical order. After half an hour the ballot shall be declared closed.

16:00-17:00: Counting takes place by the Clerk of the House, and as soon as possible the results of the first ballot are announced to the House.

If any candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the Presiding Member will put the question to the House that the member becomes the Speaker.

If no candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the candidate who received the fewest votes is removed, as well as any candidates who received less than 5% of the votes, and any candidates who have voluntarily withdrawn.

There is then a second ballot, and so on, until a candidate gets more than 50% of the House’s support.

Dragging to the Chair

Once a candidate is agreed, they will immediately become the Speaker-Elect, and will be conventionally dragged to the Chair by their supporters.

The appointment needs to be approved by the Monarch, through the commissioners in the Lords. If the Lords is still in business at the hour that a candidate is agreed on, he or she can be confirmed straight away, and can ascend the Chair as Speaker.

Who will win? My hope is for Sir George Young, but Ben Brogan favours Sir Patrick Cormack and the Labour whips are trying to whip up support for the discredited Margaret Beckett or John Bercow.

It would be ridiculous for MPs to vote for anyone implicated in the expenses scandal, but MPs haven’t shown great judgment so far.

Speaker’s to step down on 21st June 2009

19 May 2009

Speaker Martin, in a statement to the House of Commons, announced that he will be relinquishing his role as Speaker on 21st June 2009 and that a new Speaker would be elected on 22nd June 2009.

One down, 100s to go …

Watch his speech.

There was a failed attempt to oust Speaker Martin last year when he blocked a Freedom of Information request for full details of MPs’ expenses.

Douglas Carswell, the hero in this piece, led a fearless, unprecedented campaign to rid the House of the Speaker and to clean up politics – and he won.

Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Michael Martin

18 May 2009

Lobby your MP to sign Douglas Carswell’s Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Martin. Email him/her via or telephone House of Commons on 020 7219 3000 and speak to your MP directly.

Douglas Carswell tabled a and Early Day Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Martin and urges him to resign.

Today, in the Speaker’s statement to the House of Commons, he made it clear that he had no intention of resigning.

Several MPs raised points of order, telling Martin that he had lost the confidence of the House and that he should go.

Speaker Martin will not allow the Early Day Motion to be debated in the House and, advised by his clerks, told the House that in order to have a debate on the issue, a Substantive Motion would have to be tabled and that it was up to the government (McMental) to allow the motion.

Fausty’s choice – top weekend articles

17 May 2009

Fausty has been so busy reading and assimilating info of late that she’s not had the inclination to post her views. Fausty wonders how journalists, bloggers and various media types, like Iain Dale manage it.

Fausty is a new blogger – still learning the ropes.

Reduce the number of MPs and pay them more

16 May 2009

Tim Devlin writes in the Telegraph:

SIR – In 1995, I tabled a joint motion in the Commons to reduce the cost of an intended pay rise for MPs.

Our idea was to reduce the number of MPs by a third, increase their taxable pay and do away with the additional cost allowance altogether.

By combining constituencies in groups of three, and only electing the two candidates with the most votes, the number of MPs would fall from 650 to 433. Salaries for those elected could be increased to £100,000. The taxpayer would save a lot of money overall.

Tim Devlin
MP, Stockton South, 1987-97
London EC4

This is an idea whose time has come. If we reduce the number of MPs, and increase their salaries as he suggests, we can do away with the ACA, which seems to invite corruption and which is probably time-consuming to police.

Update: MPs are paid £64K for working 60% of the year, which gives them a salary for each month worked of £8K. This translates to an annual salary of £106K were they to work every month of the year. Not so badly paid after all.

Carswell tables motion to oust Speaker Martin

11 May 2009

The odious Speaker Martin was in a foul mood in the Commons today as he read his statement on MPs expenses to the House. Perhaps he was aware of Douglas Carswell’s looming motion of no confidence, the text of which was approved today.

Martin has brought Parliament into disrepute with his partisan stance, stifling debate, pushing through lax expenses ‘rules’, abusing the expenses privilege and worst of all, allowing the police to arrest Damian Green and calling for a police enquiry into leaks on expenses.

Speaker Martin has form in bringing the police into the Commons. This alone should be enough to persuade MPs to back Carswell’s motion of no confidence because he is there to protect MPs’ rights to represent their constituents against abuses of power.

Today, he vented his spleen on Kate Hoey when she dared suggest that police time would be better spent on policing, rather than investigating leaks in the Commons. Kate Hoey told Eddie Mair on PM tonight that she wished Betty Boothroyd were still the Speaker. It takes guts to say that and Hoey has proven herself to be a conviction politician with integrity – qualities sorely lacking in the Commons these days.

Michael Martin is an utter disgrace and should go as soon as possible.

Douglas Carswell blogs:

Motion of no confidence in the Speaker

Enough is enough.

I’ve drafted the text of a motion for the Speaker to quit, and to be replaced by a new Speaker with a mandate to clean up the Commons. I’m consulting the Commons Table Office for advice on it.

I’m also starting to canvass for support for it from colleagues.

UPDATE: Table Office has just approved some text for a suitable motion.

Write to your MP and urge him/her to back Carswell’s motion.

Let’s hope Carswell manages to get the required number of votes to oust the despicable man.

Update: The Spectator wades in