On an outreach visit to the Midlands, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP delivered a speech entitled 'The House of Commons – On the Road to Recovery' to an assembled audience of students, staff and sixth formers at Birmingham University.
The Speaker pointed to the growing confidence of the House of Commons, emboldened in part by the reforms adopted since 2009 and the marked independence of the new intake of MPs elected in 2010. Mr Speaker also pointed to his move to grant more Urgent Questions, 86 permitted since June 2009, bringing Ministers to the House more frequently to respond to topical matters.
Following his speech, the Speaker replied to a number of questions from the audience on issues such as the role of whips, discipline in the Chamber, electoral reform and Prime Minister's Question time.
The event was co-hosted by the Birmingham University's Political Studies department and the Chamberlain Club. The Chamberlain Club, named after Joseph Chamberlain, is a charity which aims to improve the awareness and level of debate on political matters in the community.
Read the speech in full:
Image: Lewis Whyld/PA