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Points of Order

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On Monday, when the Foreign Secretary introduced the first stages of the ratification process for the EU constitution, he could refer to only two organisations that supported the Government’s position on not giving the British people a referendum. He kept referring to one of them as the “commission of bishops”. I left the Chamber thinking that English bishops were in favour of the Government’s stance, but I subsequently found out that the group in question is the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, a pan-European group of bishops funded by the European Union. That is an absolute disgrace, and I urge the Foreign Secretary to—

Order. That is not a point of order. The hon. Gentleman has to remember that there are many bishops and many bishops’ organisations.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Leader of the House suggested that, according to the best advice that she had been given, there may have been a resignation by a Secretary of State. If that is the case, will the Secretary of State for Justice come to the House at a proper time next week to address us on matters relating to parties, pay and allowances?

The hon. Gentleman is extending the statement on the business of the House. That is not a point of order.

BILL PRESENTED

Counter-Terrorism

Jacqui Smith, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary David Miliband, Mr. Secretary Straw, Mr. Secretary Hutton, Secretary Ruth Kelly, Mr. Secretary Woodward and Mr. Tony McNulty presented a Bill to confer further powers to gather and share information for counter-terrorism and other purposes; to make further provision about the detention and questioning of terrorist suspects and the prosecution and punishment of terrorist offences; to impose notification requirements on persons convicted of such offences; to amend the law relating to asset freezing proceedings under United Nations terrorism orders; to amend the law relating to inquests and inquiries; to amend the definition of ‘terrorism’; to amend the enactments relating to terrorist offences, control orders and the forfeiture of terrorist cash; to provide for recovering the costs of policing at certain gas facilities; to amend provisions about the appointment of special advocates in Northern Ireland; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 25 January, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed. [Bill 63].