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Points of Order

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It saddens me to raise this point of order. Part of your role is to uphold the rights of Back-Bench MPs; part of my role as a Back-Bench MP is to uphold the rights of my constituents and to hold the Executive to account. On 10 September, I wrote to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Despite seven reminders since then, I have not received a reply as of 10 minutes ago. Will you call the First Lord of the Treasury to come before the House and explain what is happening with Members’ correspondence?

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am having some difficulty understanding how motion No. 1 on today’s Order Paper can be in order. It appears to have been made under Standing Order 15(2)(b), in so far as it is a motion to be moved by a Minister of the Crown

“to the effect that any specified business may be proceeded with at this day’s sitting…until a specified hour”—

namely 10 o’clock. Since motion No. 1 is such a motion, whether it says so or not, it should be taken not now, but at 10 o’clock. However, if it were taken at 10 o’clock, it would have no effect, because it would be too late. Therefore, in my view the motion seems to be out of order.

If the motion were out of order, it would not be on the Order Paper and it would not be in my dossier. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the motion is definitely in order.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Could you tell the House whether the effect of motion No. 1, if passed, would be to make it impossible for more than one amendment to motion No. 2 to be taken? Obviously, motion No. 1 is a timetable motion for today. There are various amendments on the Order Paper, including ones tabled by my right hon. and hon. Friends. I have been led to believe that it might not have been open to you to select them even if you had been so minded, because they would have been precluded by motion—

Order. I will stop the hon. Gentleman there. It was indeed open to me to select the amendment that he is questioning, but I did not select it. Therefore, the matter before us is the business of the House and the amendment that I have selected.