Skip to main content

Points of Order

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 22 February 2007

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Yesterday, in response to my Adjournment debate on the voluntary adoption sector, in the closing seconds and in response to the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Weir), the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda) made this astonishing assertion:

“I understand that negotiations are taking place between the Executive and the powers that be at Westminster on the question of exemption.”—[Official Report, Westminster Hall, 21 February 2007; Vol. 457, c. 132WH.]

The exemption in question is for the Scottish Catholic Children’s Society. Have you had any notice of a Minister coming to the House to make a statement about why the critical work of that organisation, which deals with some of the most disadvantaged children in our country, is so important in Scotland that it deserves an exemption but is not apparently worthy of consideration for an exemption south of the border?

I have had no notification of any such statement. Clearly it is a very important matter to the hon. Gentleman, and his points are now firmly on the record.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I asked the Leader of the House about the Rural Payments Agency and the fact that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs had set aside not £131 million, as it did in October, but £305 million. He told me that the Secretary of State had made a written statement, but I suspect that the Leader of the House was not aware that there was no mention of the £305 million in that statement. I hope that this is a good opportunity to put the record straight, not so much to correct the Leader of the House, but to try to draw attention to the fact that what the House really needs is a statement from the Department.

That is not a point of order for the Chair, but again, the hon. Gentleman has put the point that he wanted to make on the record.

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Mr. Speaker asked me to wait until the end of the statement to raise my point of order, but during business questions, the Leader of the House inadvertently accused me of being a supporter of a certain football club in London whose name starts with “M”. This may be a trivial matter to other hon. Members, but in my house, being accused of being a Millwall supporter is a matter of life and death. Can you advise me how I may inform the House that I am actually a Tottenham Hotspur supporter, and was a season ticket holder until very recently?

I am extremely relieved that it is not the duty of any occupant of the Chair to advise on membership of football clubs.