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Points of Order

Volume 488: debated on Thursday 5 March 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. We have just had an update from the Leader of the House that we have now gone to £75 billion quantitative easing, which is uncharted territory. I ask the Leader of House to consider arranging an emergency statement so that the House may debate it. Frankly, I am surprised that we are not at least being offered a topical debate on the matter, given that it was widely trailed on all the radio programmes this morning and is now a reality.

I am not responsible for as and when Ministers come to give statements to the House, except when hon. Members ask for an urgent question. I can then call the Minister—

If I may finish. I can then call a Minister to the House. I have no doubt that the deep concern that the hon. Member for St. Albans (Anne Main) has mentioned will be noted.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. The announcement was only made at 12 o’clock, although it had been widely anticipated. Clearly, it is possibly the most significant economic move that any of us will see carried out by the Government and the Bank of England in our lifetime. Can you tell us whether Treasury Ministers have said that they are prepared to come to the House either today, or at the very latest tomorrow, to explain this enormously significant economic move?

These things are up to Treasury Ministers. The matter has been put on the record by both hon. Ladies.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. We sympathise with the position in which you are placed by the arrogance of the Government, but can you give us an indication of whether you would be prepared to consider an urgent question for tomorrow? The House happens to be sitting this Friday and there will be a lot of public interest in the major announcement that was made by the Government today.

I am not suggesting that I will grant an urgent question, because it would be wrong of me to do so at this stage. Matters have been put on the record and the deep concern of hon. Members has been conveyed, and it will percolate through to Treasury Ministers. An application for an urgent question can be made in the usual way—[Interruption.] The Clerk reminds me it has to be done for 11 am. I used to work to a stopwatch when I was at Rolls-Royce.