Thank you for contacting me about the Immigration Bill.
As part of the ordinary workings of the House of Commons, I have the privilege of serving on the Panel of Chairs. This is a group of Members of Parliament who are entrusted to chair bill committees and delegated legislation committees when they come before the Commons.
The chair presides over the proceedings and is called upon to make rulings when necessary. It’s almost like acting as a mini-Speaker of the House for the relevant committee.
In order to ensure the impartiality of the chairs, we are not allowed to make any public statement regarding a bill we have chaired through the committee stage, nor to vote on it or take part in the debates on it.
As such, because I chaired the bill committee on the Immigration Bill, I am not able to make any statement on it.
I hope you will understand that this is just an ordinary part of the workings of the House and that these strict conventions are useful for making sure that parliamentary business can proceed free from fear or favour.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP