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Points of Order

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the weekend, I received within just a few hours more than 6,000 e-mails in relation to the debate on Heathrow. They were apparently organised or encouraged by Greenpeace and came from e-mailers right across the south-east; none were from my own constituency. Will you advise me whether the Standing Orders of the House can be amended to reflect such new developments? I think that what I have described is called e-mail bombing, which is designed to overflow e-mail inboxes and interfere with the legitimate work of MPs at what for most of us are busy times. The e-mails took many hours to deal with. I am sure that you personally find the practice reprehensible, Mr. Speaker. Are there ways in which we can prevent it from happening to other Members? Indeed, it may have already happened to them; I do not know.

My first piece of advice is this. The hon. Gentleman works hard throughout the week. Sunday is a day of rest, and he should not look at e-mails on that day. Seriously, I should say that the House authorities are looking at the matter.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Have you had a request from any Government Minister to make a statement concerning the BBC’s refusal to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for the people of Gaza?