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Point of Order

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank you very much indeed for the statement you made regarding the police coming into my office yesterday. I was notified of their being in my office while I was in the Chamber speaking in an Opposition debate. My junior members of staff and researchers felt under a certain duress to hand over documents. I am extremely grateful, Mr. Speaker, for your saying that in future, even if it does not involve parliamentary privilege, the Serjeant at Arms should first be told if a police officer wishes to enter the office of a Member of Parliament.

I thank the hon. Gentleman, but he must understand that things are sometimes done in good faith—and the approach made by the police officer to the hon. Gentleman’s staff was done in good faith. Other hon. Members have been put in a dangerous situation because of the particular investigation that is going on. I would ask that before hon. Members rush to points of order and make statements that can reflect badly on professional people who are doing a decent job of work, it would be better for them just to sit and wait for a while and get the facts together. That would have been the best thing, and I think that the hon. Gentleman’s approach would have been different if he had given himself a breather and thought about what was going on.

Business of the House

Ordered,

That, at this day’s sitting, the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the Motions in the name of Ms Harriet Harman relating to Payments to hon. Members (Publication Scheme), Members’ Allowances (Green Book), Members’ Allowances (Audit and Assurance) and Committee on Members’ Allowances not later than 5 pm; in each case such Questions shall include the Questions on any Amendments selected by the Speaker which may then be moved; proceedings may continue, though opposed, after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.—(Chris Bryant.)

Before I call the Leader of the House to move motion No. 2, I advise the House that all four motions are to be debated together.