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THE UK SECTION: THE SPEAKER

The Speaker sits in the Speaker's Chair at the end of the Table of the House. The Government sits to the Speaker's right and the Opposition to the Speaker's left. It is the Speaker's duty to keep order in debate and to call MPs to speak. The MP selected must address the Chair, and must refer to other MPs by their constituency or to Ministers by their office. Thus MPs will refer to each other as The Honourable Member for..., or (to Privy Counsellors) The Right Honourable Member for... If the MP referred to is of the same party, they will generally be My Honourable Friend. By custom, only Ministers and Opposition spokesmen and women (front-benchers) may speak from the Despatch Box. At the end of a debate the Speaker will put the question. A Division (vote) of the House may follow, which requires MPs to walk through the appropriate 'Aye' or 'No' lobby adjoining the Chamber. Tellers announce the results of divisions to the Speaker.


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