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Point of Order

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is with some regret that I have to make this point of order about what was said during questions this morning. It started when a journalist at The Times reported me as calling for a boycott of British strawberries, which is something that I never did, and that journalist was kind enough to write a note confirming that I never called for such a ban. That is not a matter for the Chair, but I should like to draw your attention to the fact that, when I was standing in the queue for the Table Office, the hon. Member for Sherwood (Paddy Tipping), whom I have told that I would make this point of order today, was standing in front of me. He tabled an early-day motion that suggested that those words were true, although I was able to show him the note from the journalist to prove that they were not true.

My hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) was unhappy with the truth of the comments made by the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw), and was rightly brought to order. What I should like you to do if possible, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is to insist that those very high standards of truthfulness and honesty on which we insist in the Chamber are also applied outside it, with particularly reference to early-day motions.

I cannot get involved in the individual point that the hon. Gentleman makes—I am sure that he will resolve it in his own way—but I certainly confirm that Mr. Speaker and, indeed, any occupant of the Chair expects the highest possible standards of behaviour in every aspect of our parliamentary life.