SPEAKER WATCH: The New Party in Parliament

On Wednesday, a Conservative rose on a point of order and was told points of order would follow the statement. Labour’s Hazel Blears rose on a point of order and was allowed to make it.

She declared she had nominated Julian Lewis for the imminent election, and urged people to go and vote “for what is a very important position for the future of the Defence committee.”

It is said that Ms Blears had been to see the Speaker before morning conference to arrange this point of order (which wasn’t a point of order, but a Speaker-endorsed plug for Julian Lewis).

It is now clear, even to observers outside parliament, that the Speaker runs candidates for elections and intervenes personally and powerfully in their favour.

Thus, Rosie Winterton – it is said – went into a meeting with the Speaker endorsing Keith Simpson for the chair – and came out endorsing Julian Lewis.

Labour whipped the vote – and failed to deliver the Speaker his preferred candidate (but that’s another story).

The Labour whips office whipped a vote on the Speaker’s instructions.

This is something new.

The Speaker had also backed Charles Walker for Chair of the Procedure committee.

The previous chair had recommended that the House debate the question of whether the Speaker should be re-elected by secret ballot. What chance of a Speaker-backed chair putting this report forward?

The answer is: close to zero.

A Speaker involving himself in House business at this level is unprecedented.

His powers are very extensive and beyond appeal. His behaviour in the chair is based on something real. He really is the Prince of this principality.

It seems to be the case that without a personal relationship with him, Members will not get called. And there is anecdotal evidence that he specifically finds out the content of Members’ questions before calling them.

This too is new.

Through patronage, flattery, bullying and abuse, the Speaker has built a party on and off the floor of the House (the membership list is being compiled).

He is the third power of Parliament, after the two front benches.

And this is just the start of his party’s life. He is gathering forces for great prizes: control of the Business, control of time on the floor, the ability to get Motions on the order paper, the ability to undermine and possibly to collapse a fragile Government of which he disapproves (he self-identifies as “a social democrat”).

The bet is that he’ll blow up before he achieves these goals.

But what an operator he is. Machievelli could write another Prince about him.



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Adam Boulton says David Cameron campaigned as a neo-Thatcherite…

“The manifesto programme, with its sell-off of social housing, clampdown on public sector strikes, EU in/out referendum and benefit cuts, represents a much more traditional, neo-Thatcherite conservatism than that offered by Cameron Mk 1…”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Burnham’s Paul Smith Suits Burnham’s Paul Smith Suits
FLASHBACK: You Are Subsidising Andy Burnham’s Property Portfolio FLASHBACK: You Are Subsidising Andy Burnham’s Property Portfolio
Arise, Sir Eric! Arise, Sir Eric!
ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH CONTINUED ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH CONTINUED
Stella Grills Dimbleby on Sexuality Stella Grills Dimbleby on Sexuality
New Select Committee Chair Allocation in Full New Select Committee Chair Allocation in Full

Miliband: Don’t Move to the Centre Miliband: Don’t Move to the Centre
Insta-Bunga! Insta-Bunga!
GREEN PAEDO RING RUMBLED GREEN PAEDO RING RUMBLED
BIONIC MAN CONTROLS TWO ROBOTIC ARMS WITH HIS MIND BIONIC MAN CONTROLS TWO ROBOTIC ARMS WITH HIS MIND
TECH NOSTALGIA: LYCOS SELLS ITS PATENTS TECH NOSTALGIA: LYCOS SELLS ITS PATENTS
BIN LADEN PLANNED JIHAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE BIN LADEN PLANNED JIHAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE
CAMERON’S UBER PALS SQUARE UP AGAINST BORIS CAMERON’S UBER PALS SQUARE UP AGAINST BORIS
Andy Burnham: “I Would Follow David Moyes Textbook” in Office Andy Burnham: “I Would Follow David Moyes Textbook” in Office
BBC CLIMATE FORECAST THREE YEARS OUT OF DATE BBC CLIMATE FORECAST THREE YEARS OUT OF DATE
UKIP Latest: Suzanne Speaks UKIP Latest: Suzanne Speaks
24 Hour Drinking: “The Best Thing the Labour Party Ever Did” 24 Hour Drinking: “The Best Thing the Labour Party Ever Did”
Fight! UKIP’s Steven Woolfe v Jean-Marine Le Pen Fight! UKIP’s Steven Woolfe v Jean-Marine Le Pen
Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories