"In the final vote of this Parliament, which was a free vote, I voted against the Government's proposal to change the election procedures for the Speaker in the new Parliament," said North Wiltshire MP and a member of the Procedure Committee James Gray this afternoon.
"I did so with a heavy heart as I strongly support the principle of secret ballots for elections in the House, and the election of the Speaker must be one of the last ballots in which there is no secrecy. However, this is an extremely important and fundamental change in the constitution of the United Kingdom, and I was deeply unhappy with the way the Government sought to rush it through on the last day of this Parliament and with only one hour allowed for debate. That is no way to change the standing orders of the House of Commons," added Mr Gray.
"I myself am a member of the Procedure Committee, and despite my strong support for secret ballots, I therefore voted against this particular Government proposal."