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Sir Edward Heath: Mr. Michael Lord has been proposed and seconded, and I give him the opportunity to submit himself to the House if he so wishes.

7.51 pm

Mr. Michael Lord (Central Suffolk and Ipswich, North): I am happy to submit myself to the House for the election of Speaker. After not being allowed to address the House for three and a half years, it seems strange to be doing so. It was not always thus, as hon. Members will know. Originally, the Speaker was just as his title

23 Oct 2000 : Column 79

suggested, and represented the House's views to the sovereign of the day. Today, in speaking for the first time for a long time, I speak not on behalf of my constituents but for myself, which I find extremely difficult to do.

I should first like to thank my proposer and seconder for their encouragement, support and very kind words. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King) is one of the wisest and most senior Members. His encouraging me to put my name forward and his staunch support throughout have been invaluable. The hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Reed), my friend, is not quite so senior but has many other things on his side--and I do not just mean youth. He has integrity and sincerity, and I know will go on to make huge contributions in the House. Despite his black eye, he is very gentle. I am truly grateful to both Members.

I should like to pay a brief tribute to our previous Speaker, Betty Boothroyd. It was a great honour and privilege to serve as one of her Deputy Speakers. Her advice was invaluable, her support for all her deputies unwavering. Most of all, as I know the House will agree, she was fun. She will be hugely missed by both the House and the nation, and I hope that she enjoys her retirement.

Our previous Speaker was famous for her high kicks in years gone by. Although I cannot possibly match her high kicks on the stage, I have in my time been responsible for many a high kick on the rugby field. If there is one unique thing about me among the candidates, it is that I am the only one who has played rugby against the South African Springboks. It is not a happy experience, from which one is lucky to emerge with only a black eye.

Perhaps it was on the sports field that my basic instinct for fairness was reinforced. To continue briefly in that sporting vein, applying it to the House of Commons, any referee worth his salt appreciates the need to judge quickly the mood of the game, not to interfere unnecessarily and to allow the game to flow. At the same time, of course, he must always maintain control without having to resort to red cards.

A memory, too, is important to the Speaker of the House. I do not know whether hon. Members realise that that was not always so. There was a time when the Speaker simply pointed to a Member without having to know their name. On one occasion, in its infinite wisdom, the House chose a cross-eyed Speaker. Every time the Speaker pointed, three people stood up. Since then, we have had to remember Members' names.

This is not the occasion on which to deal in detail with the problems that the House of Commons faces. The next Speaker, whoever that may be, will want to champion the rights of Back Benchers, ensure proper scrutiny of Government and maintain the importance of the House at the centre of our nation's democracy and decision making. I, too, would certainly want to take up those challenges as toughly as anyone who has spoken today.

This is the mother of Parliaments and in many ways it is still the envy of the world. The beauty of our system lies in its simplicity. Each Member works for and listens to their constituents, coming to the House of Commons to speak on their behalf. Although we are in the Palace of Westminster, this is a simple House of Commons. If Members of Parliament are doing their jobs properly and are heard in the House, we surely have the simplest and

23 Oct 2000 : Column 80

best possible form of government. Back Benchers must be heard, and more often than they are at present. Their voices should be heard in more parts of our daily affairs.

I am particularly tired of the constant belittling of this House and the denigration of its Members by some sections of the press. The House and its new Speaker should, as far as they are able, do everything possible to counteract that tendency, which creates an entirely false impression of the work that we do here and of the quality of Members of Parliament. Such a tendency is a very corrosive influence in our national life.

Three and a half years ago, the House entrusted me with the role of Deputy Speaker, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. For three and a half years, all Members have seen me do that job. Only they know which qualities they want in the next Speaker. If they decide that I have those qualities, and decide to trust me, I will do everything in my power to repay that trust. I do not believe that the House will be disappointed.

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 "Mr. Michael Lord".

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 146, Noes 290.

Division No. 307
[7.57 pm


Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Ballard, Jackie
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Body, Sir Richard
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burnett, John
Butterfill, John
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Dalyell, Tam
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Donaldson, Jeffrey
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan Smith, Iain
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Faber, David
Fabricant, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Gorrie, Donald
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hammond, Philip
Hayes, John
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Horam, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Lord, Michael
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
McCartney, Robert (N Down)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Major, Rt Hon John
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
May, Mrs Theresa
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Moss, Malcolm
Nicholls, Patrick
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robertson, Laurence
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sayeed, Jonathan
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Steen, Anthony
Stinchcombe, Paul
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thompson, William
Tipping, Paddy
Townend, John
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Tyler, Paul
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Wardle, Charles
Waterson, Nigel
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Wyatt, Derek
Yeo, Tim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Tom King and
Mr. Andrew Reed.


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allan, Richard
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Ashton, Joe
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Brake, Tom
Breed, Colin
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
Burstow, Paul
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Cable, Dr Vincent
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Canavan, Dennis
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chidgey, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Cotter, Brian
Cox, Tom
Crausby, David
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Goggins, Paul
Graham, Thomas
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keetch, Paul
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kirkwood, Archy
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Livsey, Richard
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Rogers, Allan
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
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)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Todd, Mark
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Watts, David
Webb, Steve
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Peter Snape and
Ann Keen.

Question accordingly negatived.

23 Oct 2000 : Column 83

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