As the presiding officer of the House of Commons, the Speaker is the interpreter of its rules and procedure, and is invested with the power to control and regulate the course of debate and to maintain order. Standing orders give the Speaker discretionary powers, for instance, to grant emergency debates1, to allow urgent questions to be asked2, to select amendments to motions and bills and to accept motions which will have the effect, if agreed to, of bringing a debate to an end. He puts the question on every motion and declares the decision of the House with regard
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