Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Statement by the Speaker
I want to refer to an earlier ruling I have made. As members are well aware, I have today during question time twice moved on from a question and an answer where members did not refer to other members by their proper parliamentary titles, as is required under the standing orders. As I have pointed out, I have flagged this in recent weeks in various debates, particularly in question time. I want the House to know that I have done this with the purpose of reinforcing how important it is to the level of discourse in the House. While I have taken action that is strong today, I will, of course, always consider the context in which the references are made to other members and have a practical attitude. But I do say adverse references to other members will be taken particularly seriously. It is a warning to all members to refer to other members in the House by their proper titles. Obviously, I will take a practical approach to it; members know that. But for the two members concerned, it was strong action I have taken, I say, and timing was unlucky, given the number of instances we have had of it. I just wanted to say that at the conclusion of question time.