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Sir Edward Heath: Sir Alan Haselhurst has been proposed and seconded, so I give him the opportunity to submit himself to the House.

3.37 pm

Sir Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden): I last spoke in the House on 29 October 1996, so I hope that hon. Members will recognise that I may be a little rusty. I could not then have imagined that my next speech would be made in these circumstances. I feel obliged to acknowledge the endless uncertainties of political life, which conspired to make me the 63rd Chairman of Ways and Means. That wholly unexpected elevation brought me for the first time into regular contact with Speaker Boothroyd. In the previous Parliament, judging from afar, I had never had cause to doubt her qualities in the Chair, but having gained the privilege of seeing her conduct of the office of Speaker close at hand, I soon became aware of the diligent and conscientious way in which she approached her many duties. The love that Speaker Boothroyd expressed for the House when she accepted nomination eight years ago was always evident in our working meetings. She coupled it with intuitive human insight and lashings of good sense. Betty Boothroyd was a huge personality, and a great Speaker.

Hon. Members often come to the Chamber with speeches in our hands that we may never have the chance to deliver. That feeling has been hovering around me--and, I suspect, others--today. I have always found speaking in the House an extremely daunting experience, because I respect this place above all as the most formidable of democratic debating chambers. I bow to the experience and knowledge that the hon. Members around me collectively represent.

I have, however, never had any doubt about wanting to be part of this place. It was a tremendous moment for me when, in the early hours of June 1970, with my parents present, I was declared to be the Member for Middleton and Prestwich--towns now represented respectively by the hon. Members for Heywood and Middleton (Mr. Dobbin) and for Bury, South (Mr. Lewis). I have to say, however--with no disrespect to the people who gave me my first chance in public life, and for whom I have the greatest affection--that what I felt then could not match the emotion and thrill I felt on being returned for Saffron Walden, because by then I had knowledge of what this House was all about, what it meant to me and how important a place I believed it to be.

Thus, Sir Edward, in 1977 I was able to resume my meteoric career on the Back Benches. Never privileged with nor burdened by office, I have had plenty of opportunity to observe and understand the frustrations and constraints of Back-Bench life. I have always been restless to see improvements in the support given to Back Benchers. The power of the Executive has grown and grown, while the capacity of the legislature to check it has not increased commensurately. Arguably, it

23 Oct 2000 : Column 19

has diminished. The constituency work load has become steadily more demanding. More and more Members have found it difficult to cope while spending a proper amount of their time undertaking the scrutiny process.

There is another factor: that is family life. When I was originally elected, I was a bachelor. In my first Parliament, I revelled in being here all hours. By 1982, when I had three small children, I took rather a different view and was not always the first to be looking for overtime. I firmly believe that those are issues that the House must address, if only to demonstrate to the public that we are doing an effective job on their behalf and that this is the place--above all others--where their interests will be served.

However, it is for the House as a whole to determine the way in which it wishes to go forward. It is not easy to find a prescription that unites us all--and certainly not one that an individual Speaker can impose. The Speaker should seek only to be a guide--perhaps a catalyst. The Speaker can, however, be a conductor and try to ensure that the pace of our proceedings is more lively, to maximise opportunities for Back Benchers.

So I present myself to the House, Sir Edward, as a moderate moderniser, hopefully gauging the mood of the House and anxious to work with the grain of reform and renewal; as someone who passionately believes that debate and argument over the affairs of this nation must be joined pre-eminently here and not elsewhere; and, I hope, as a convinced champion of individual and minority interests in this House.

I am most grateful to the hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) and to my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke) for their willingness to put forward my name and for their generous remarks.

In the 1970 Parliament, I shared with Harold Wilson the distinction that we were the only two Yorkshiremen to represent Lancashire seats. It is asking much, I know, for the House to contemplate two Yorkshire-born Speakers in a row, so it is perhaps in the guise of Essex man that I should, in accordance with ancient custom, submit myself to the will of the House. If chosen, I will serve it faithfully and with resolution.

Sir Edward Heath: The original Question was, "That Mr. Michael J. Martin do take the Chair of this House as Speaker", since when an amendment has been proposed to leave out "Mr. Michael J. Martin" and insert "Sir Alan Haselhurst".

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 140, Noes 345.

Division No. 299
[3.44 pm


AYES


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allen, Graham
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Bennett, Andrew F
Betts, Clive
Body, Sir Richard
Boswell, Tim
Bradshaw, Ben
Brady, Graham
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burstow, Paul
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Cohen, Harry
Collins, Tim
Cran, James
Cunningham, Ms Roseanna
(Perth)
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Day, Stephen
Donaldson, Jeffrey
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Faber, David
Fallon, Michael
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Roger
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grogan, John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Haselhurst, Rt Hon Sir Alan
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Healey, John
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hoey, Kate
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hurst, Alan
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jamieson, David
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
McCartney, Robert (N Down)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, Patrick
Major, Rt Hon John
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
May, Mrs Theresa
Miller, Andrew
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morley, Elliot
Moss, Malcolm
O'Hara, Eddie
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Pearson, Ian
Pickles, Eric
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Prior, David
Randall, John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Steen, Anthony
Stinchcombe, Paul
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strangford)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thompson, William
Tipping, Paddy
Trend, Michael
Trimble, Rt Hon David
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Viggers, Peter
Walker, Cecil
Walter, Robert
Wardle, Charles
Waterson, Nigel
Webb, Steve
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Winnick, David

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Peter Snape and
Ann Keen.


NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allan, Richard
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Ashton, Joe
Atkins, Charlotte
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Benton, Joe
Bercow, John
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brake, Tom
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Cable, Dr Vincent
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
(Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davies, Rt Hon Ron (Caerphilly)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fearn, Ronnie
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George
George, Andrew (St Ives)
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Graham, Thomas
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Harris, Dr Evan
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Home Robertson, John
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hume, John
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kingham, Ms Tess
Kirkwood, Archy
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Leigh, Edward
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
(Makerfield)
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGrady, Eddie
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLeish, Henry
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Martlew, Eric
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Prosser, Gwyn
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rogers, Allan
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salmond, Alex
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Short, Rt Hon Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swinney, John
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill
Tyrie, Andrew
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Watts, David
Welsh, Andrew
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wilkinson, John
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wilson, Brian
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:


Sir David Madel and
Mr. Bill Rammell.

Question accordingly negatived.

23 Oct 2000 : Column 23


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