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Points of Order

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister quite rightly said that he wants to enhance the role of the House and make it central to our politics. This morning, however, he has been making statements in the media about various initiatives that he wants to take, including the establishment of the national council for democratic renewal. Given that the Prime Minister has found time today to speak to a TV talent show contestant, will he find the time to come to this House to make a statement on the far-reaching proposals that he intends to bring forward?

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On a similar matter, in the Financial Times last Friday, there appeared to be a set of detailed announcements about the award of Government contracts under the flexible new deal. Have you had any information from a Minister indicating an intention to tell the House, either in person or by way of a written statement, about the award of contracts totalling billions of pounds? Or are we yet again to see announcements in newspapers before Members are informed?

That is not a matter for me, but the hon. Gentleman can table parliamentary questions and ask questions in the House.

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker. I have in my constituency about 1,000 veterans and people who are interested in the armed forces. The House authorities inform me that I can send information to them about the Castle Point armed forces day events

“using stamps and envelopes purchased from the Communications Expenditure”.

They also say:

“Pre paid envelopes should not be used.”

That restriction seems ridiculous. It imposes extra work and costs on my office and staff and makes no sense at all to my constituents. Will you ask someone to review those rules and bring them up to date?

In the past few days, there have been serious complaints about how we use the resources before us, and the reason for the restrictions on envelopes and the introduction of the communications allowance was that some hon. Members were using massive amounts of envelopes, and it had to be stopped. I know that it may be an intrusion or a difficulty for the staff, but the fact of the matter is that there are resources in the hon. Gentleman’s office to use those facilities.