John Bercow at Hull University

The Speaker, John Bercow, was in Hull today to deliver a Parliamentary Studies Lecture on ‘Why Parliament Matters’.  The University is one of twenty accredited for the delivery of such lectures by clerks of both Houses and the Speaker’s was the last of this semester’s lectures.  Addressing a packed lecture theatre, he argued the case for strengthening the House of Commons in relation to the executive as well as making the membership more representative of those it sought to serve.

He noted that before he became Speaker in 2009, it was rare for Speakers to grant an Urgent Question.  Since his election,  he has granted 460, designed to bring ministers to account on the pressing issues of the day.  He welcomed reforms of recent years, not least the election by the whole House of select committee chairs, the election by the parties of members of the committees, and the creation and work of the Backbench Business Committee.  He also advocated government business being scheduled by a business committee and favoured reform of the way in which Private Members’ Bills were considered, allowing the House to vote on them rather than being talked out.  He was open to the idea of proxy voting.

He also emphasised the importance of education – he was instrumental in achieving the building of the Education Centre near the House of Lords, in Victoria Tower Gardens – and the value of outreach.  He enjoyed visiting universities and saw such visits as an important part of his job.

For the Speaker, this was a return visit to the University, having previously been the guest speaker at the Politics Department’s 50th anniversary celebration. On both occasions, he drew attention to the fact that as an undergraduate he drew on the work of a particular Hull academic…

Photographs by Mike Park.

Advertisements

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to John Bercow at Hull University

  1. Croft says:

    Hard to comment without a transcript but generally Bercow has been a poor speaker who has done the office few favours.

    OT: Did anyone else chuckle at one of the recent headline that asking individual to show they have a right to vote undermined democracy. I see the ‘proof’ on the trials is a very low bar.

    Sample ID requirements:

    https://www.woking.gov.uk/council/voterID#accepted_id_in_polling_stations

  2. Robin Stanley Taylor says:

    Bercow’s predecessor, The Lord Martin of Springburn, just died.

  3. maude elwes says:

    ‘Addressing a packed lecture theatre, he argued the case for strengthening the House of Commons in relation to the executive as well as making the membership more representative of those it sought to serve.’

    In which way is he pressing for the House of Commons to be more representative of those it seeks to serve? Exactly and specifically, what is he wanting to expand on that the HoC doesn’t presently have? Could it be intellect and an ability to articulate? The way so many we presently have representing us show? What we don’t need in government is a composite of the average guy. There are enough average ability, sitting wide legged, on those benches already. Enough to make you shiver with fear.

    https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/953007/Piers-Morgan-Diane-Abbott-interview-clash-Good-Morning-Britain-GMB-Home-Secretary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s