Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): This is a crucial decision and we need to make it in a timely and sensible way.
We stand on the threshold of momentous constitutional events. We might even lose a country from our United Kingdom, or we might go into a period of fundamental constitutional change with a massive devolution of powers. We will need good professional advice and leadership to complement the crucial work of the democratically elected politicians.
The Speaker is the servant of the House. Mr Speaker has shown, by the way he has said that there has to be a pause and a reconsideration, that he knows that he is the House’s servant. In turn, the House has to be fair to Mr Speaker. It is our duty tonight to set in process a way of resolving this problem in the best interests of everyone and in a good spirit, knowing that Mr Speaker also wishes the best for our House of Commons and will be guided by the House. It is our duty to come up with competent and sensible guidance for him. He undertook a process with a series of senior Members and an outside adviser in good faith and they came to a judgment. Apparently, that judgment does not suit the House. That is the House’s privilege, but we now need to find a better way of resolving the matter.
This situation has consequences not just because we need good guidance, and especially so at this time, but because if we want the best talent from around the world to apply for jobs in this place, we need to show that we are professional in handling such matters and that there is no danger of an unsuccessful candidate having their name revealed or trashed in the process. That is completely unacceptable.