Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2003 Contents


Order in the House

  42. The Speaker, or the chairman, after having called the attention of the House, or of the committee, to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance, or tedious repetition either of his own argument or of the arguments used by other Members in debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech. Irrelevance or repetition.
  43. The Speaker, or the chairman, shall order any Member or Members whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the House during the remainder of that day's sitting; and the Serjeant at Arms shall act on such orders as he may receive from the chair in pursuance of this order. But if on any occasion the Speaker, or the chairman, deems that his powers under the previous provisions of this order are inadequate, he may name such Member or Members, in which event the same procedure shall be followed as is prescribed by Standing Order No. 44 (Order in debate). Disorderly conduct.
  44.—(1) Whenever a Member shall have been named by the Speaker, or by the chairman, immediately after the commission of the offence of disregarding the authority of the chair, or of persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the House by abusing the rules of the House or otherwise, then if the offence has been committed by such Member in the House, the Speaker shall forthwith put the question, on a motion being made, 'That such Member be suspended from the service of the House'; and if the offence has been committed in a committee of the whole House, the chairman shall forthwith suspend the proceedings of the committee and report the circumstances to the House; and the Speaker shall on a motion being made forthwith put the same question, as if the offence had been committed in the House itself. Order in debate.
  Proceedings in pursuance of this paragraph, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business.
  (2) If any Member be suspended under paragraph (1) of this order, his suspension on the first occasion shall continue for five sitting days, and on the second occasion for twenty sitting days, including in either case the day on which he was suspended, but, on any subsequent occasion, until the House shall resolve that the suspension of such Member do terminate.
  (3) Not more than one Member shall be named at the same time, unless two or more Members, present together, have jointly disregarded the authority of the chair.
  (4) If a Member, or two or more Members acting jointly, who have been suspended under this order from the service of the House, shall refuse to obey the direction of the Speaker, when severally summoned under the Speaker's orders by the Serjeant at Arms to obey such direction, the Speaker shall call the attention of the House to the fact that recourse to force is necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the Member or Members named by him as having refused to obey his direction shall thereupon and without any further question being put be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of the session.
  (5) Nothing in this order shall be taken to deprive the House of the power of proceeding against any Member according to ancient usages.
  45.—(1) Members who are ordered to withdraw under Standing Order No. 43 (Disorderly conduct) or who are suspended from the service of the House shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House. Members suspended, &c., to withdraw from precincts.
  (2) Suspension from the service of the House shall not exempt the Member so suspended from serving on any committee for the consideration of a private bill to which he may have been appointed before the suspension.
  45A. The salary of a Member suspended from the service of the House shall be withheld for the duration of his suspension. Suspension of salary of Members suspended.
  46. In case of grave disorder arising in the House the Speaker may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the House without putting any question, or suspend the sitting for a time to be named by him. Power of the Speaker to adjourn House or suspend sitting.
  47.—(1) The Speaker may announce at or before the commencement of proceedings on any motion or order of the day relating to public business that he intends to call Members to speak in the debate thereon, or between certain hours during that debate, for no longer than any period he may specify (which shall not be less than eight minutes), and whenever the Speaker has made such an announcement he shall, subject to paragraph (2), direct any Member (other than a Minister of the Crown, a Member speaking on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition, or not more than one Member nominated by the leader of the second largest opposition party) who has spoken for that period to resume his seat forthwith. Short speeches.
  (2) In relation to any speech, the Speaker shall add to any period specified in paragraph (1) of this order—

    (a) one minute if one intervention is accepted, plus the time taken by that intervention;
    (b) two minutes if two or more interventions are accepted, plus the time taken by the first two such interventions.

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© Parliamentary Copyright 2003
Prepared 12 November 2002