'What do I do if my MP is the Speaker?' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • Interesting question!!!
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  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    To what extent does the Speaker's opinions on a matter affect what happens in the debate? Are they more likely to allow comments that they agree with?
    In which case it is absolutely worth lobbying him.

    But if not, it does make you wonder what the point of it is. Why would anyone want their MP to be the Speaker? Why wuold any party want one of their MPs to be the Speaker? Why would any MP (who, presumably, is in the job because they want to get things done in their way of thinking) want to be the Speaker?
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    I don't know anything about Twitter, but isn't it the Speaker's wife who is an infamous Tweeter? Martin, you should Tweet her and ask her!
  • My MP clearly wants to move up in his party, as every time I email to question something he trots out the party line. I have no idea what he personally thinks on anything, but I know he always agrees with his leader. To be fair, he does actually respond though. And the same thing used to happen under the previous MP who was in a different party. I find MPs much more useful for dealing with individual complaints rather than trying to engage on general political issues, so I'm not sure how much difference it would make having the Speaker as MP.
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  • Hi Martin,

    John Bercow is not the only member of Parliament who faces this bind: there are three deputy speakers who are in the same position. However, it is a mistake to think he cannot represent you. I speak a former House of Commons aide.

    It's common to think that policy is affected by debate in the Commons chamber, but this is highly unlikely. When was the last time you watched a debate and saw a backbencher raise a point, only to hear the PM turn to his deputy and say, 'Good grief, Nick - we never thought of that!' - it doesn't happen.

    The fact is that most policy decisions arise from informal discussions in the Members' tea room, or through one-to-one discussions between ministers and other MPs. As Speaker, John Bercow's office is just of the main ministerial corridor, and he will see the key decision makers every day. Unlike your typical backbencher, John is well-known; when he wants a conversation, even the most senior of ministers will listen. Few MPs have anything like that kind of access - especially as most are relegated across the road in Portcullis House.

    It is therefore still worth writing to your MP to explain your views - he will raise them with the relevant minister if you ask him to, and I can confidently say that a few words from him will be more effectual than the attendance of any backbencher at a debate.

    Best wishes,

  • amiehallamiehall Forumite
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    Your point about the PM being your MP is also in my opinion being looked at from the wrong perspective. The PM will do constituency surgerys and, unlike most MPs, if he decides he wants to take action on an issue you've raised, it's not that hard for him, he just has to ask someone to sort it out and they will. Generally I think that's a huge plus which more than makes up for less frequent surgeries.
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  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    I still think the constituents of Buckingham are better represented than those of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. At least Mr. Bercow turns up.
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