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Points of Order

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is my understanding that if Members visit the constituents of others on business, they should inform them of the visit. On two occasions during the summer recess, the Leader of the House and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions visited my constituency without doing me the courtesy of informing me first. May I seek your guidance, Madam Deputy Speaker, on that?

Members will know, and I repeat for the benefit of the hon. Gentleman, that it is one of the conventions of the House that Members should inform the Member whose constituency they are visiting.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, I seek your advice and guidance. You will see at column 285 of Hansard that yesterday the Prime Minister suggested that the Leader of the Opposition “is misleading people”. You will further see that, in response to a point of order of mine, the Speaker said:

“I have consulted the record and I am satisfied that the Prime Minister has said nothing unparliamentary.”—[Official Report, 24 October 2007; Vol. 465, c. 291.]

Previously, we perhaps all wrongly assumed that misleading was unparliamentary and out of order. May we now assume that, if a Minister or Member is misleading the House, that is out of order, but if he is misleading—

Order. The right hon. Gentleman has made his point fairly clearly. Having reviewed the matter, Mr. Speaker is satisfied that nothing was said by the Prime Minister that reflected directly on the character of the Leader of the Opposition, and there the matter rests. I remind the House that the Chair expects all Members to use temperate and moderate language when referring to one another at all times.

Order. No. The Speaker's ruling has been given. I cannot therefore accept a further point of order on that matter.

On a fresh point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I seek your advice and clarification. Will it be in order in future for Members to say that other Members are misleading people?

The right hon. Gentleman proposes a hypothetical situation. In each and every case, therefore, a decision will be made depending on the circumstances at that time.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I think that the Leader of the House inadvertently misled the House a minute ago when she said that the Government were not responsible for closing post offices, because we had an announcement that 2,500 will be closed by the Secretary of State.

The business statement finished some minutes ago. We are now on to points of order, which appear to be concluded.