On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am pleased to see the Leader of the House in her place, and I hope that she is there to respond to the issue that I am about to draw to the House’s attention.
During business questions earlier this afternoon, I drew the attention of the Leader of the House to early-day motion 1952, which relates to the leadership of the UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. I pointed out that the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) was not going to be a shoo-in, as there will be an election for the position, taking place next week. Given that the Council of Europe is all about democracy, I sought the assurance of the Leader of the House that a democratic election would involve every member of the delegation having a vote for its leadership. The answer I received was: yes, that is what would happen.
It is now clear that that answer was factually incorrect. I readily accept that the misleading of this House was totally unintentional. Nevertheless, that answer was wrong, because it is absolutely clear that only Labour members will be able to vote. We will therefore end up with a leader of an all-party delegation chosen on the basis that some of us are disfranchised. I hope that the Leader of the House now wants to correct her mistake and then explain why some of us are effectively second-class members, denied the right to say who will be our leader.
The Leader of the House is present. Does she wish to respond?
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thank the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) for raising this point of order and providing me with an opportunity to clarify the position. I can reassure him that we have not changed the procedure in any way, as it remains the case that the leadership of the UK delegation to the Council of Europe is a matter for the Prime Minister.
Order. We must leave it there. If the hon. Gentleman wants to pursue the matter further, he will have to—
Order. No, the Leader of the House has responded to the point of order. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to pursue the matter further, he should consider choosing other channels to do so.
I am more than content to accept that point of order. Perhaps we can now move on to the next business.