Enough has been said in the press this morning about the Speaker’s performance yesterday. As feared he sought to tackle the issue of expenses, but could only say he would now discuss it with the there party leaders. He failed to tell us anything about his own position.
His Statement revealed yet another inadequacy in Parliament. Of course when the Speaker pronounces on a matter of interpetation of the rules of the House, or on a disciplinary matter affecting a Member, there must be no challenge to his authority, no questions to him to undermine the judgement. He is like an umpire or referee.
When he wishes to tell us his views on reform or improvement to the House, he is more like a Minister reporting on a department. In that role he should give a statement, then take questions in the usual way. He is not infallible on those matters, must gauge the mood of the House and be answerable to it. Yesterday he allowed a number of Points of Order. When one of these which strayed from Points of Order too far he declined to deal with it.
Douglas Carswell has now succeeded in collecting some Labour signatures for his motion of No Confidence. That is what is needed. As we were reminded yesterday, the Motion will only be debated if the government puts it on the Order paper. The government needs to see it is not just Opposition MPs who want that to happen. It should recognise that most Opposition MPs do want that to take place, and take place soon.