UK politics Speaker’s statement

18 May 2009

Immediate reactions

Reading his statement from a script, seemingly without conviction, and lacking in concrete proposals and dates (such as his intended date of leaving the office), the Speaker’s position looks more precarious than ever. The Speaker probably lost more support after that statement. The silence during the Speaker’s statement in the Chamber was oppressive. After the statement finished, MPs’ anger – now audible – boiled over and simmered as numerous points of order were raised. What will happen next? There will be a dénouement soon. My hunch is that he will go, with reluctance, regrets and resentment.

Added: 19/05/2009 – 00:40 BST

There was proecedural confusion during the points of order subsequent to the Speaker’s statement, leading to doubt whether this motion will be debated or not. The Speaker indicated that it was up to the government whether to let this motion be debated (and voted upon) as a ‘substantive motion’. According to Mr Douglas Carswell’s blog, it is a substantive motion which will appear on the order paper today. I suppose this is the problem with unwritten constitution, where rules and procedures are never straight forward, and there is no modern precedent. It is a no-confidence / censure motion, and even if not directed against the government or a minister, the government, which has more time to allocate for debates, ought to schedule time for this debate, since it is of grave constitutional importance.