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Points of Order

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have informed the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government that I was going to raise this matter.

Yesterday, my local paper, the Evening Telegraph, reported a ministerial visit by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to my constituency last Friday. I received no prior notification from the right hon. Lady about that ministerial visit. As she was visiting my constituency in her role as a Minister, I and my local councillors would have appreciated the opportunity to speak with her to discuss local issues. What is more galling is that I had formally invited the Secretary of State to Wellingborough to discuss with me the overdevelopment of my area. She had not replied to my invitation.

You will appreciate, Mr. Speaker, that only a few weeks ago another Minister visited my constituency without giving me prior notice. I would appreciate your comments.

Every hon. and right hon. Member knows of the convention that notice is given if there is a public engagement in a constituency. As for invitations, if the hon. Gentleman gave out an invitation that is not taken up, perhaps he should be a little more persuasive—but that is nothing to do with me. The point that I make is that everyone knows the conventions and I expect every hon. Member on every side of the House to respect them. It is important that they do.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As I am sure you are aware, last Wednesday I wrote to you inquiring whether the police had had access to the servers. Today, you clarified whether police were given permission to access the servers. Is there no way in which the police could have accessed the servers without the permission of PICT?

If the hon. Gentleman reads my statement and reflects on it, he will see that no access was given, and nothing was accessed.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. We are about to debate European matters preparatory to the European Council meeting, which is to be held at the end of the week. Draft conclusions of that Council meeting are already in existence; I obtained a copy from the website of the Danish Parliament. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will undoubtedly refer to issues itemised in those conclusions, which have not been made available to the House, although they have been made available to other member states, where the same culture of secrecy does not prevail. Is it in order for us to proceed with a debate on those terms, given that I have the draft conclusions? I could easily circulate them, under your authority, Mr. Speaker.

I would not want the right hon. Gentleman to draw me into any arguments; I think that I have had enough for this week. There is about to be a debate, and if information is available to the right hon. Gentleman, he can raise the issue in the debate, so long as it is in order to do so. Of course, it is up to Ministers what information they make available.