When I was on the front bench listening to the Prime Minister’s statement and wanting to get called to ask my ‘helicopter’ question – I thought I would carry out a little experiment to see if Speaker Bercow was going to get rid of silly rules.
Under Speaker Martin – and probably legions before him – LibDem frontbenchers who want to get called to ask a question have to go and sit in the second row – as until now we have only been allowed one speaker from the front bench – and that is obviously the opposite number to the Government minister.
Now – I am the same person – whether I am on the front bench or the row behind – so it has always struck me as a stupid rule – and stupid rules is what I am looking to Speaker Bercow to get rid of.
So – I decided to test him out by standing to get called whilst still on the front bench – and not moving to the row behind.
Nearing the end of the statement period, and the last person Speaker Bercow called before he changed over to the Deputy Speaker – was – yes me!
This may seem one small step for me – but this was huge in terms of political mankind. Well done Speaker Bercow – moderniser and man of your word!