The Speaker of the House of Commons
Asked repeatedly if the Prime Minister still had confidence in the Speaker, the Prime Minister s Spokesman (PMS) said that we had consistently made clear that the Prime Minister did not appoint the Speaker. It was right that the Speaker was independent of Government and it was also right that the Prime Minister should support the individual elected to be Speaker by the House of Commons. It would not be appropriate for the Prime Minster to do anything other than support the will of the House.
Asked how the Prime Minister would know the will of the House without a vote, the PMS said that the Prime Minister supported the individual elected Speaker of the House of Commons and it was not for him to intervene in that process. It was right for the Prime Minister to support the will of the House as it was expressed.
Asked how the Prime Minister would vote if there was a vote of no confidence in the Speaker, the PMS said that the motion regarding the Speaker had not yet been tabled and if such a motion was tabled it would be a matter for the business managers to consider, at the appropriate time, what happened next.
Asked who the business managers were, the PMS said the Leader of the House.
Asked if the Prime Minister was relaxed about some of his Ministers being openly critical of the Speaker, the PMS said that the comments he had seen from Ministers all made clear that it was not for the Government to pass judgement on the Speaker. The Speaker was independent of government and it was right that the Government supported whoever was elected to be the Speaker by the House of Commons.
Asked if there had been any contact between the Prime Minister and the Speaker, the PMS said that the Prime Minister spoke to the Speaker occasionally but they were private discussions and would remain so.
Asked if the Prime Minister thought Nick Clegg was right to say that the Speaker should stand down, the PMS said that that was a matter for Nick Clegg.
Asked if the lack of public confidence in MPs went wider than the debate about the Speaker, the PMS said that the Prime Minister was of the view that there were wider issues that had been raised by this episode, which he made clear in his News of the World article yesterday. Other Ministers, for example Lord Mandelson, had been making similar points this morning.
Put that David Cameron had called for the matter to be resolved quickly and asked if the Prime Minister shared that view, the PMS said that the Prime Minister s view that it was not for him to comment on theses matters, beyond to say that the Prime Minister and the Government would support the will of the House.
Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news
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