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Point Of Order

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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9.34 am

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Have you yet had a request from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to come to the House to explain the total confusion that now appears to reign in Government circles about the very important matter of tax? We heard on the wireless this morning the part-time Leader of the House and Secretary of State for Wales apparently intruding on the Chancellor's territory in seeking to sow confusion about tax. Surely it would help not only the House but the taxpayers of this country if the Chancellor were to be allowed to come to the House. If you have not already heard from him, can you confirm, were he even at this stage to request permission to make a statement today, that that would be procedurally possible, and that such a statement could be made at 11 o'clock, as is traditional? Can you confirm that so that we can all quiver in anticipation that this matter might be clarified?

No such request has been received, but it is possible to receive such requests until 10 o'clock, and the Chair will always be accommodating to a Minister seeking to make a statement to the House. I hope that that will prevent the right hon. Gentleman from quivering unduly for the rest of the morning.