What is the point of 649 MPs if the Speaker gets to decide, says Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg

What is the point of 649 MPs if the Speaker gets to decide, says Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg

WATCH NOW: Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg reacts to the Commons row on Gaza

GB News
Jacob Rees-Mogg

By Jacob Rees-Mogg

Published: 22/02/2024

- 07:54

I'm absolutely convinced that Mr Speaker is completely and properly impartial

This is what happened in the Chamber moments ago.

I said: "It's quite clear from the level of noise when the question was put that the view of the deputy speaker was being challenged.

"I think it is absolutely extraordinary that that noise level was deemed to be aye. It's inconceivable that anybody hearing it would have thought it was aye. And it is quite clear from all our standing orders, all our traditions that when the speaker or Deputy's decision is challenged, it should go to a division."

This is a fundamental point of democracy. If the Speaker or deputy can simply decide when there is noise and when it is not clear what the decision is, that it is aye or no, then what is the point of having 649 other MPs?

You only need one who is making the decision.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg responds to the Commons row on the Gaza ceasefire vote

GB News

So in today's pretty disagreeable state of affairs, the worst bit came at the end when the Deputy Speaker ignored the conventions, ignored the rules of the House and denied the House an opportunity to vote on Labour's amendment, and then the motion as amended.

I've never known this happen before. And it is the way in which Parliament becomes discredited, because you see so little point in debating serious matters.

And the thing about today is that the matter was of the utmost seriousness. What do you want to happen in Gaza? What do you think the reasonable Israeli response is?

I'm very clear in my own view that Hamas must be destroyed, that the Israelis must be entitled to complete what they have started. They need to win because Hamas is evil.

But I absolutely understand what the SNP wanted to argue that because the loss of life is so serious, there should be a ceasefire immediately and there should be a pause. That is not a wicked view to hold. I think it is naive. I think it is unrealistic.

But it would surely have been right for it to get to the vote.

And then you get to earlier in the day, the Speaker's decision. Well, I'm absolutely convinced that Mr Speaker is completely and properly impartial.

I don't think he has any skin in the game so as to speak. I think he takes his decisions on what he thinks is best for the House and he lived up to a promise, a politician who delivered on his promise when he campaigned to be Speaker.

He said that if he ever disagreed with the clerk he would publish the clerks advice and he had the courage to do this, which is not something any of his predecessors has ever been willing to do. And I think that was brave and it was transparent and it was an important step in allowing the House to know the decision making process.

But actually we needed to get to the votes, and it was Rosie Winston who didn't allow us to have the vote. But the discussion took place and the discussion is important.

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