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

23 Oct 2000 : Column 42

5.7 pm

Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire): I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Member for South Norfolk (Mr. MacGregor) and to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Helen Jackson) for their kind words. I have never claimed a penny in bicycle mileage allowance, and I do not propose to do so. Whoever takes the Chair has a hard act to follow in Betty Boothroyd.

My constituents are used to having their Member of Parliament contest the election for Speaker. The Member for Andover in 1705, one John Smith, threw his hat into the ring. The court declared for Mr. Smith, but others declared for a Mr. Bromley, described as

A week before the vote, a contemporary noted:

In the vote, 81 placemen voted for Smith, including his fellow Member for Andover, whom Queen Anne presented with

However, 17 placemen voted against Smith, including the secretary to Prince George, who received the news of his dismissal as he voted in the Lobby. John Smith became the first Speaker of Great Britain and one of the first to sign the treaty of Union with Scotland. His successor as Member for Andover won with a majority of 10, having received 24 votes to his opponent's 14.

Three hundred years later, the core responsibilities of the Speaker remain the same: to protect the rights of Members of this House and to enable them to hold the Executive to account. However, although those responsibilities remain unchanged, the environment in which they need to be exercised has changed dramatically. More recently, the terms of trade have shifted away from the House towards the Executive; they need to be shifted back. Other institutions now rival Parliament with claims to power and influence. We have 24-hour media, demanding instant news; pressure on Members' time has grown tenfold; and our constituents are more numerous and, rightly, more demanding. I ask myself whether the House has fully adjusted to those changed circumstances.

I believe that a strong Parliament is good for the country and good for government. If the House loses influence, the Government can drop their guard and are no longer properly held to account. If the institution of which we are collective members loses influence, it affects our ability individually to represent our constituents.

The heart of Parliament is this Chamber. I believe it needs to beat more strongly--sending oxygen around the rest of the body politic. It needs to be more relevant to the lives of our constituents and more challenging to the Executive. Parliament is the buckle between the people and their Government; it has become loose.

Some say that Parliament should be modernised; I prefer the word "strengthened". Do we need a career structure outside Government for independent-minded Back Benchers, so that the Government do not hoover up most of the talent? Should we hold the Government more effectively to account on their expenditure? Could Opposition time be put to better effect than taking it in Opposition days and half-days, rather than by the right to

23 Oct 2000 : Column 43

demand statements when the Government are reluctant to volunteer them? If we have shorter hours--I have been kept out of my bed later and more often than most people--how do we do that without prejudicing the quality of our work? Those are two sides of the same coin.

The answers to these and other questions are for the House, and the Speaker is the servant of the House; but the Speaker has influence and can act as a catalyst in this process of strengthening Parliament. I would like to play a part in that. I have been both Whip and rebel. I have been an inner-city Member and, now, a rural Member. I have had a three-figure majority and a five-figure majority. My four children have grown up while I have been a Member.

For my 26 years in this place, I have been in the Conservative party, but--to repeat a familiar phrase--not run by the Conservative party. [Laughter.] I have sat, with others, on the House of Commons Commission, with its budget of £150 million and responsibility for thousands who work here. I think that we could have more cohesive management of the separate Departments and indeed of the building, for the benefit of Members and of those people who work and visit here.

For a post that no one wants, the speakership is doing rather well. For those of us who are unsuccessful, there is another high-profile job currently available, which, by tradition, no one wants--full-time manager of the English football team.

Sir Edward, I regard all the candidates as my friends. We all have different interests and qualities. I, along with them, am happy to submit to the judgment of the House.

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 instead thereof "Sir George Young".

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 241, Noes 317.

Division No. 302
[5.13 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allen, Graham
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baldry, Tony
Ballard, Jackie
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Bennett, Andrew F
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Blunt, Crispin
Body, Sir Richard
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Bradshaw, Ben
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr Vincent
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Caplin, Ivor
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coaker, Vernon
Collins, Tim
Cran, James
Cunningham, Ms Roseanna
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Denham, John
Donaldson, Jeffrey
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Evans, Nigel
Faber, David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorrie, Donald
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grogan, John
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Horam, John
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keetch, Paul
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Key, Robert
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Lock, David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
McCartney, Robert (N Down)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
McLoughlin, Patrick
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Madel, Sir David
Major, Rt Hon John
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Maples, John
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Sir John (Aberavon)
Moss, Malcolm
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pearson, Ian
Pickles, Eric
Pike, Peter L
Pope, Greg
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Prior, David
Radice, Rt Hon Giles
Rammell, Bill
Randall, John
Raynsford, Nick
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Soames, Nicholas
Soley, Clive
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steen, Anthony
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Streeter, Gary
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thompson, William
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Trimble, Rt Hon David
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Vaz, Keith
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Wardle, Charles
Waterson, Nigel
Webb, Steve
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Richard Ottaway and
Mr. Martin Salter.


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
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Rt Hon Gordon
(Dunfermline E)
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Casale, Roger
Cash, William
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
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)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
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
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)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew (St Ives)
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Graham, Thomas
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Home Robertson, John
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hume, John
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jenkins, Brian
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, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kingham, Ms Tess
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Livsey, Richard
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLeish, Henry
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Martin, Michael J
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Moffatt, Laura
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Kali
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Eddie
Olner, Bill
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Prosser, Gwyn
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
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
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
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)
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swinney, John
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill
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, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Peter Snape and
Ann Keen.

Question accordingly negatived.

23 Oct 2000 : Column 47

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