The impartial Speaker

Peter Milliken reflects on his time as Speaker.

Ultimately, the Speaker is left to attempt to curb the worst of any excesses, to uphold the rules insofar as this is possible—for example, to ensure that the time limits applicable to questions and answers are strictly adhered to—and to strive to do this in an unbiased and impartial fashion. The toleration of some indecorous behaviour is preferable to creating the impression that the Speaker is intervening in a partial or partisan fashion. Neither can the Speaker be seen to interfere with or arbitrarily to obstruct the legitimate questioning of government Ministers.